Extract from 'Walking on Thin Ice', 'Telling Tales about Dementia' by Rachael Dixey
At the moment I'm still caught up in the 'now', and it's too painful to look back on the happier times, our civil partnership day, and earlier, our twenty-fifth anniversary, our house filled with flowers and friends; all the walking and sailing we did, all the togetherness. I have put a photo of Irene in every room in the house and am gearing myself for this strange twilight, where Irene is alive but increasingly moving away. I have to sort out my life as a singleton, yet I still have a partner. I have to steady myself for the real ending, because Alzheimer's shortens the sufferer's life, and that is where the final grieving will begin. But I know that I have enough love left from Irene to warm me through the rest of my life.
I have read that passage a number of times and it moves me so very much. But how might you judge an LGBT relationship of such depth? Equal to a heterosexual one? Different from? Equally different to?
I remember talking to a lady about my partner and his dementia only to receive a stony face and the words 'but I am talking about my husband!!'