End Days: Talking to My Mom

Me & Mom

I don’t know how to talk to my mom. When I visit here, I usually sit there and hold her hand. I’ll say prayers, I’ll tell her not to be afraid, I’ll tell her I love her, but mostly, I just sit there. I don’t know what to say…………………… I can’t find the words. I want to tell her about my life, but it just feels absolutely ridiculous. I tried to read to her, but it feels contrived. If she can’t remember how to swallow her food, how could she possibly comprehend what I’m saying………………….. I am, by nature, a pessimist. The glass will always be mostly empty save a few drops. I don’t believe she can understand me. I don’t believe she “gets” my words — the words where I tell her about day, my struggles, my joys, my fears and frustrations.

It’s been so many years since I’ve actually talked to my mom……………….. before her disease consumed her brain.

Frankly, I think the grey matter that deciphers what comes out of my mouth into images and ideas has been turned to complete mush.

I love my mom. I miss my mom. But I can’t talk to her. I just don’t know how.


  1. So sorry for your pain. Hold your mom’s hand, stroke her skin, sing to her. My mom died 2 years ago, at the end losing the swallowing reflex. Now I talk to her again. She sings to my through the birds. Her beauty is restored to me through the flowers and beauty in nature.


  2. I think it’s just as easy to declare that she understands as she doesn’t understand. Case in point: my sister-in-law died on July 4th of this year at the age of 69 from early-onset dementia. The entire family, except her youngest adult son, were in her room. My brother (her spouse) told his wife that she could go, gave her permission to go, but he also told her that her youngest son was on his way. Well – she held on until Charlie, her youngest son, arrived and had a minute with her in order to say his goodbye prior to her taking her last breath. We all felt that it must have been extremely difficult for her to hold on, but she somehow understood what my brother was saying, and hold on she did until the last goodbye was said. The body, and even the diseased mind, hold many surprises. Feel free to talk to you mother as though she understands all that you say because – she just might.

  3. Thank you for your blog post today…it has inspired me to make a better effort to create conversation with my mom who has dementia. She can still talk. It doesn’t always make sense…but we talk. Sometimes I sit in silence because I don’t think the conversations are making sense, but they are to her. It’s talking. She can still do that with me. Someday, perhaps she won’t be able to talk. So, I need to create conversation whether it makes sense or not, while I still can.

    Touch is a universal language that I believe can be understood even when the brain cannot make sense of the words it may hear. Holding your mom’s hand is a language of its own, always understood! Really, you are speaking to her in your own way.

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