Some deaths
Are like the slamming of a door.
Sudden. Complete.
You are either
On one side of the door,
Or the other,
With no contact between.

But dementia isn’t like that.

It is simultaneously more gentle,
And more cruel.
Not one, complete, total, goodbye.
Instead there are
An eternity and a brevity of small goodbyes,
Day after day.

It is the blowing away of a dandelion.
A million pieces of fluff.
Each piece lifting and floating away
Until nothing is left
But the stem.
Leaving not even a
Shadow of the bright yellow
Dandelion bloom which
Stood strong before,
Facing wind and rain,
Turning its face to the sun.

In a
Breath…
In a lifetime…
Only a limp, gray, weathered stem
Lies curled on the ground.

Robertta Ellyn Thoryk

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