My dad’s dementia worsened over the course of several years. It was quite disturbing to see his memory loss, confusion, difficulty expressing himself, and inability to perform even simple tasks. The changes in him raised questions for me, questions which I wrote about as follows a year and a half ago:
“So is he even the same man as the one who raised me? I started to think of his life as being over. I wondered why God hasn’t taken him. I even wondered about his faith. Is he still capable of believing in God? How can he think about what is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, or admirable (Phil. 4:8) if he can hardly think at all?”
I did come up with answers to these questions, and submitted a short piece describing some of those answers to The Banner, a magazine published by the Christian Reformed Church in North America. They accepted my article and published it in their December issue. You can find the online version of the article here. When I thought carefully about what it means to be human, I realized that dad was still fully human and remained so all the way to the end of his life. I hope others who have friends or relatives with dementia will find some encouragement in what I’ve written.