Dementia Letters

This morning we have our next installment in the Dementia Letters Project from Mindy. Thank you Mindy


Dear dementia,

Thank you for joining us, here on earth.  I know it’s a hard place to be; people often want you to go away—you’re simply misunderstood.  I’m accepting of your company.  You’re here for a reason, right?

Your presence has changed my life.  You’ve changed my brain, although, you haven’t entered it (yet?).

I know you through many sources.  Nana was a host for you before she died in 2012.  There were times when, together, you laughed, cried, giggled, snorted, screamed—and took your clothes off in public.  She always did prefer nudity.  My relationship with Nana, once you were in her life, was more unique and explorative.  Greater love and understanding grew as I filled in, accepted, and decorated her “blanks”.

Nearly every day, I meet your hosts.  They’re as kind and patient with you as they can be.

Dementia, I know you’re here to teach us something and I have a few ideas of what that is.  You’re teaching us to question our huge egos and our contrived notion of “reality”.  Patience, empathy, flexibility, mindfulness, spirituality, radical acceptance, present moment awareness and pure love …. that’s what you’re aiming for, right?

When you come around, our worlds turn upside down.  All we can do is throw our hands in the air, scream, and liberate ourselves—hopefully joining hands with one another.

I thank you because you took away a lot of beliefs that weren’t serving me.  You’ve given me an even more vast world to explore.  I can’t imagine my life without you.




Published by Kathryne Fassbender

Creative Gerontologist, Speaker, Catholic Innovator. I am also the granddaughter of someone who lived with Vascular Dementia.

2 thoughts on “Dementia Letters

  1. Very interesting idea here. I often say people who are afflicted with some horrible illness or disease are here to teach us something, to serve as an example. I found your blog through Giga Alerts. I was looking for mention of AlzAuthors. You featured some of our books. Thank you. Have you visited our site? Marianne Sciucco

    1. Hi Marianne. Yes, I have visited your site many times and have promoted it to several people over the last year or so that I have known about AlzAuthors. My hope with the Demenita Letters Project is to allow those who may not want to be a visable voice via platforms like a blog, book, or speaking engagements, to still be able to share their voice. I also wanted families and community members to help us deepen the reality of dementia. To share their fears, their joys, their experiences. There is great healing through storytelling, and letter writing is a beautiful and easy form of storytelling.

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