The Living Nightmare

The old man sits restlessly in the chair.

She gently holds his hand

as his soft brown eyes stare vacantly

into the emptiness of far away space.

His mind now wandered to

another time and place.

To a time when he was virile and young

with energy aplenty and

words at will on his tongue.

To a place where his thoughts

ever constantly roam,

to a little snow white cottage

and a very loving home.

To Eileen, his dear wife

and their little daughter Bella,

to cutting turf in the bog

and hay in the meadow.

Where have those time gone

he wonders?

A whole world away.

Sitting here makes no sense at all.

He doesn't know where he is today

and who is the lady

who just gave him a kiss,

who smiles like an angel

in heavenly bliss?

He knows nobody now,

It's a strange world to live in,

confined to a chair

in a world of oblivion.

It's like having sawdust

for a mind it would seem.

Living in 'No Man's Land'

like a very bad dream.

He's there, yet he's not there,

removed from it and yet...

He longs to be released,

with great joy he will embrace


(Graphic courtesy Google Images)


  • Teddy.15

    I know someone who has this and you have brought much dignity to them today. Also to everyone who has this or is a carer or a family member and of course friends of those who have it. Your poetic heart is pounding today dear Marie. Bless you sweet friend. X

    • Marie

      Thank you for kindly reading and for your very kind, understanding comment, dear Teddy. A very warm, heart-felt THANK YOU! for your so kind words. Gratitude with beautiful blessings, dear friend X

    • dusk arising

      A sad savage illness which is raveging us these days as our physical endurance outlives mental wellness. Who among us has not shared the company of a sufferer and felt so utterly helpless.
      With perfect detail you personalise this piece drawing me into the life of someone I don't know but someone has lived a good and wholesome journey, now to be so sadly aflickted, and all who love them. A very sad tale in it's telling and heartfelt by both yourself I'm sure and this reader too.

      • Marie

        Dear D.A. a very heart-felt THANK YOU! for kindly reading and for your very kind and understanding comment. Both my parents had this horrifying disease and I grieved a lot before my Mom actually crossed over to Spirit and when she did, I felt peace because I knew all her suffering was over. Dad lived for eleven years after Mom and spent the last three years of his almost 95 years in a beautiful Nursing Home. When I would reach to hug him his beautiful brown eyes would light up like a million stars, though he had no idea who I was, but when my daughter Deirdra visited him, the moment he saw her he was waving to her in welcome, until she finally got to him, the reason for that, dear D.A. is that she is very like me when I was young, very long black hair, etc and that is how he remembered me and so he thought that it was me visiting him. When Dad passed away, I will never forget coming out of the Cemetery, I felt like an orphan! Mom and Dad were now gone, as an only child I never felt so alone in my whole life. Dad worked v-e-r-y hard all his life, D.A. and deserved more at the end of life than the very sad unknown world he found himself in, bless him. THANK YOU! for your empathy, dear D.A. Bless you always. Hope you are feeling well now, you are in my thoughts and prayers. Wishing you a very lovely, relaxed, pleasant, sunny evening as I have here in Ireland. Bless you always, dear D.A and thank you again...

      • orchidee

        It's a terrible thing, and it really is 'the good old days' if having this condition.
        A patient joked on a GP programme. Doc said 'How's the memory these days?!' The patient chuckled and said 'I can't remember!'

        • Marie

          It is a terrible disease, dear Mr. O! Today, I read where a man had Alzheimer's forgot he had it and remembered everything again, don't know if it was due to medication he was having or what, it didn't say! Thank you for sharing your delightful joke with me, I appreciate your kindness and thank you also for kindly reading and for your very kind comment too! Bless you always, dear Mr. O!

        • Fay Slimm.

          You pen this tragic state so clearly and with honesty too Marie - - from first hand experience your verse opens readers to what it is like to be there yet not there - - so very sad my dear friend to tend a loved father with this awful condition - with your in thought and spirit my friend.

          • Marie

            Thank you for kindly reading and for your very understanding, empathic comment. Dad was in a beautiful, caring, kind Nursing Home for three years, his lovely sister Peggy was in the same nursing home. He used to think she was his wife. Dad died eleven days short of his 95th Birthday, and Peggy died eleven days after her 95th Birthday. She was perfect in mind, but totally blind. Dad was not perfect in mind but with perfect sight, no glasses needed. Bless them both. Thank you for your kind thoughts, dear Fay. I am MOST grateful and appreciative. May the most beautiful Autumn Blessings be yours, dear friend...

          • Neil Higgins

            Just read this having been occupied for most of the day with other matters.Thank you Marie for sharing this.I tried to convey my thoughts on the subject yesterday,and you have done likewise today.It is an awful illness that will effect at least one person we know in our lifetime.
            Also thank you for supporting my effort from yesterday.

            • Marie

              Aaaawww! Most welcome, dear Neil. I wasn't able to do as good a job on my poem as you did on yours, but I hope it complemented your very poignant write in some way. It really is a horrific illness and each day I pray it doesn't touch this lifetime again for me. Twice was more than enough. You've had a very busy day, Neil. Take time out now for you, relax and enjoy a beautiful, peaceful evening. Bless you always, dear friend... Almost forgot to thank you for kindly reading and for your very kind comment also, Neil...

            • Accidental Poet

              Marie, yours and Neil's poem both are masterful works of writing about the effects of Alzheimer's and Dementia. My mother passed from it at 80 years old in 2008, and my father has it now at 95. It's so sad to watch the decline of a close relative. But...this is not good-bye, we'll be together again.

              • Marie

                Dear A.P. gratitude for kindly reading and for your very kind and empathic comment. I am so very sorry to read of your Mom's crossing over to Spirit and that she also had Alzheimer's and so sad that now your beloved father has it also. It is such a cruel illness, A.P. because it robs us of our loved one's last years and as you so rightly say it is heartbreaking to watch our loved ones decline day by day and yes, you are also so right to say it is not goodbye, we will meet and be together again one day. Thank you for sharing your very comforting and consoling words with me. I am most grateful, A.P...

                • Accidental Poet

                  As am I Marie.

                • 3 more comments

                • Goldfinch60

                  Very well written Marie it is an awful disease but it is a disease so it may be cured in time, my wife had dementia and there is no cure for that, the latest count that I had heard was that there are 223 different types of dementia. I was looking after her over a period of five years before she had to go into a care home as despite my being able to cope with it it gets so bad that I could see us both going to a care home. She ended up in hospital and died from dementia, I was there at her side when she passed and the way I looked at it was that it was a release for both of us. My love for her will never fail and I now have the attitude that if people say they know about dementia but have not lived 24/7 with it they haven't a ****ing clue.


                  • Marie

                    Dear Andy, a very grateful and big THANK YOU! for so kindly sharing about your beloved wife with me. You are so right when you say that in order to understand dementia, one has to live with 24/7 and outside of that people haven't a clue what it's like or the emotional pain that accompanies it. I didn't know there were so many different types of dementia, Andy but I have read that it is very difficult to differentiate between dementia and Alzheimer's unless an autopsy is done on the person who had it, after they die. It shows up in one's brain. Yes, a time comes when a very difficult decision has to be made with regard one's loved one going into a Nursing Home. I agree 110% that it is a happy release for both the person who has this awful disease and for their loved one who is devoted to them. Your love for each other could never die, Andy and one day you will be reunited with each other again, but not for a v-e-r-y long time yet. Thank you again for so very kindly sharing and helping me to understand a little bit more than I did. I am most grateful. I wish you a very Good morning, a very blessed and beautiful day to enjoy. Take very good care of you, stay safe and keep well in these sad times controlled by Covid. Bless you always, dear friend...

                  • Robert Haigh

                    A poignant poem, indeed. A former work colleague of mine died a couple of weeks ago, a victim of Alzheimer's. He was a wonderful and kind man when I knew him. Sadly, he turned aggressive toward his loved ones in the end. So sad - tragic in fact. Thank you for sharing this.

                    • Marie

                      Good morning, Robert and thank you for your visit and kind comment. My deepest sympathy to you on the crossing over to Spirit of your work colleague, bless him. Yes, some forms of it cause the person who has it to be aggressive and it's the same in animals who get it. It seems that both animals and people have much in common with this tragic disease. Thank you for sharing with me, Robert. Your friend is safely home now, with no signs whatever of having had Alzheimer's, he is healthy and very happy once more, bless you both...

                    • L. B. Mek

                      firstly, thank you for sharing such an sensitively penned,
                      emotive and poignant write, dear poet
                      secondly, thanks for directing me to Neill's poem that I must have missed, I'll go and check it out now

                      • Marie

                        Thank you for kindly reading and for your very empathic comment, L.B. So pleased you now know about Neil's excellently penned poem on the same sad topic. Thank you again, dear friend...

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