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The Joys of Sorrow


Registered User
Jul 3, 2010
Strange title...? Let me explain.

Brenda was diagnosed with Alzheimer's over fourteen years ago and, to say the least, there have been many occasions since when both she and I have experienced sorrow. Horribly. Depressingly. Hopelessly.

But to concentrate only on that side would be a misrepresentation and distortion of the truth. Of course, it would have been lovely to have spent those years doing all the things that a couple would normally hope to do - enjoying each other's company, taking memorable holidays, rejoicing in the lives of children and grandchildren and generally living out our twilight years with grace and happiness. Sadly for us and many, many others, we were forced to divert from that track by circumstances and take a much bumpier and darker route.

Having said all that, over the past year I have come to realise that walking that same path has brought us into contact - and friendship - with so many wonderful individuals who have enriched our lives in an amazing way. If we had not walked that trail there is no way we would have met these incredible people.

Some are fellow sufferers whose eyes convey the message of "I know exactly how you are feeling" with true love, empathy and compassion. Many have walked the path to its bitter end and finally said farewell to their suffering loved one and yet they maintain the contact with us, shrugging off that mischievous little voice that asks "why are they still here when my dearest has left me?" I only hope that I will be able to show the same level of grace and understanding when our own time to part arrives.

Some are healthcare professionals who go way beyond their job descriptions to provide support and friendship to us and many others. Every day they are subject to the pressures of budget cuts, financial squeezes, bureaucratic restrictions, job security worries and the effect of overwork on their own health and family life and yet they deliberately push all that aside to give their utmost to those in their care.

Some are friends or family who are ever present to give a hand, a word of encouragement or simply a prayer to help us make it through another day.

Our lives would be infinitely poorer without all these wonderful individuals and, while we may often fail to give you the thanks you deserve, my own prayer and hope is that you understand just how much you mean to us and that we, in turn, are able to replicate that care to fellow sufferers that cross our own path.

Thank you.


Registered User
May 23, 2014
Thinking of you both, Laurence and Izzy . Although my darling husband has left me I know I "got off lightly" when I read some of the posts on the Forum. Our life was hardly affected by the dementia he suffered for four to five years, until this last year when he fractured his hip and did not come home again but went into nursing care due to his severe medical condition.

You all have my utmost admiration and your love for your "partners" shines through your posts. You are an inspiration.

Loving thoughts to you all WIFE