Hope for those affected by Alzheimer’s disease

Young hand holding old hand

A dreadful poem, attributed to the Alzheimer’s Association, is being spread across social networks in which the author laments, “The best of me is gone.” This couldn’t be farther from the truth!

For all those suffering with Alzheimer’s, the best of you lives on in your children and grandchildren. They carry with them your DNA and in many ways your personality. A lifetime of your influence, encouragement, and life lessons are not gone with your memories, but live on in those you loved. The values and beliefs you modeled before your children and grandchildren also live on well beyond your years. Your encouragement lives on in your friends and coworkers. And if you were a writer, you leave a permanent record of advice, admonitions, encouragement and comfort that continues in books, magazine, websites and other writings that will be treasured by future generations. The best of you is not gone!

And for followers of Jesus suffering with Alzheimer’s, a lifetime of modeling your faith before family and friends has impacted the very kingdom of God. If you have served as a teacher, preacher, or missionary, your best lives on in the eternally-changed lives of those you served. Jesus himself awaits to greet you with, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” So, even as you are dying to this world, eternal life awaits you. You will be fully alive in perfect physical and mental health! And in heaven, the dying memories of this world will be resurrected as you reunite with family and friends who have gone before you. The best of you is just beginning as you make the transition from earthly death to eternal life!

So, please, share this with those affected by one of the worst ways to die. Assure them that the best is not gone. And for the believer, the best is yet to be.

Copyright © 2015 James N. Watkins

Photo from theguardian.com

Note
My grandfather had “senility” (in all likelihood Alzheimer’s) and my dad was officially diagnosed with the disease. So, I am in no way minimizing the devastating effects of this disease where your mind dies long before your body. But my dad died knowing he was “in God’s hands” and that the best was waiting for him.

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2 Responses

  • I can’t thank you enough for this post. My father suffered terribly from dementia before he passed away. It was more painful watching him live with dementia than it was watching my mom die from cancer. While my mom was sharp and lived a full life to the end, It truly felt that the best of dad was gone. He certainly believed it. I wish I’d heard your wise words before Dad passed so I could’ve comforted him with this truth. He knows it now, though, as he’s now living as his best self in heaven. Thank you! PS — I enjoyed your classes at BRMCWC!!

    • Thanks, Jean, for sharing your story. My family was blessed that cancer took my dad before he faced the final stages of this horrible disease. He still knew who we were–but that was virtually all he knew. Praying, praying, praying for a cure!



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