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The question is often asked of me, “Aren’t you angryand resentful that Alzheimer’s Disease has turned your life with your husband upside down ? My answer is always the same – “No, I am just sad. So very sad.”

It is when I see older couples walking hand in hand, or sitting at a café table deep in conversation , or maybe see that look cross between them, that look that displays a still strong emotional bond. These are the times that the cloud of sadness  envelopes me, smothers me, crushes me.

I think to myself – we had that bond for over 30 years. That bond was the warmth, comfort and security felt only when in each other’s presence – we blocked out the world, and we were one unit. I am overwhelmingly sad for that loss. I am particularly sad that I have accepted the loss as permanent and know that I have to live with the relationship we have now. The sadness is deep – I can feel it in my heart, my bones, my core. I fight it. I push it away. To do otherwise would lead me down the dark path of depression, a path I cannot afford to take. I have too much to do; too many responsibilities. So I take the advice I give to others. I try to the best of my ability (which is sometimes sorely lacking) to “let go” the endless questions; the repetitive questions; the confusion; the misinterpretation of so much of what I say; the obsessive behavior; the reliance on me for everything.  I enjoy the times we are able to spend together as a couple– our date nights, our get-togethers with friends. And I fill the rest of my life with activities that give me pleasure – reading, writing, and outings with girlfriends.

Nothing can replace that bond, but to focus on the sadness would incapacitate me. I would not be able to function. So I try to let it go. Nothing this disease brings upon us is easy.

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