Tuesday, June 13, 2017



There have been moments when I feel somewhat lost about my deep feelings regarding my mother. Through these last 14 years as I witnessed her slipping away, I have also been able to remain thankful and cherish that she is still alive.

Since her illness I have fallen in love with her unconditionally. Several years ago we shared our laughter and acted so silly almost as if we were teenagers. Today as the disease progresses things with mom are quite different.

My love for her remains undeniable yet when someone in my Alzheimer's Support Group loses their parent my hopeful attitude fades away and these thoughts can certainly haunt me. Several weeks ago two members from my group suddenly lost their mothers. It made me wonder why those who joined the group after me, have lost their parents before me; each and every time I question why mom is still alive after having dementia for so many years

What kind of life can mom now possibly have? She exists, but does she really? Is this life worth living for she no longer has any appreciation of any of the beautiful things that once surrounded her world? Memories of her husband and children are all but gone.

Mom use to love to go to museums, movies and theatre. She enjoyed her morning walks or strolling on the beach. She adored reading, had a great quest for knowledge and loved taking continuing educational classes. For many years now none of these things exist in her life.

Now, although she probably does not know the difference, she walks around sterile hallways passing others who are confined to wheelchairs and no longer speak. I have often said that she is the lucky one yet I now question....is she? (Since I wrote this mom is now in a wheelchair although two aides from restorative therapy come and walk with her each day. They are trying to get her to walk . I have been told that she no longer has the strength nor energy since her illness this past January.)

If she could speak for herself or see herself through different eyes would she want to keep on living?  I believe deep in my heart I know her answer. The answer is what I truly would want for myself. Mom will turn 93 years old in August and there have been many years that have come and gone that she has no idea of her age, her life, her family, nor even her existence.

Most of us choose not to speak about this yet it is something that as human beings should be our right. We should be able to make our own choice of how we live and when we should die. My choice has always been with dignity and that is what I so heartily wish for my mother.

Regardless of your beliefs I am certain that we can all agree that Alzheimer's is one of the cruelest diseases. It takes away ones entire world as if it never existed. It has no cure and the ending can be gruesome. So I ask you, should we have the right to choose if we live or die?

MY MOM MY HERO - A mother & daughters new found love. http://www.amazon.com/Mom-Hero-Alzheimers--daughters-bittersweet/dp/0615773982/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1454248406&sr=8-1&keywords=lisa+hirsch


  1. So sorry that you're going through this painful time. When your mom got to no energy as you wrote, it's so sad that it's too late for her to make any decisions about how she lives (or doesn't) - it's too late for her right to choose. So I ask, who will decide for me? I hope my medical directive is clear enough and laws change, so my POA can follow my directive when I can't. So sad beyond words and complicated!

    1. Ruth my mother in her will has protected herself from having choice as far as the law go. We both know that a few states have a right to die law but you must be terminally ill and believe it or not "Alzheimer's and all dementia's" as of today do not "qualify". Hopefully one day we ALL will have the right to choose.

  2. Dear Lisa,
    I empathize and sympathize with you.
    My mom will be 95 in 3 weeks. She is legally blind (macular degeneration), can barely hear and is wheelchair bound. She can no longer participate in her favorite activities. I think of how *I* think I would feel in her situation... but my mom never complains. She tells me often that she is "happy and content" and enjoys her life. She still has an incredible sense of humor. She is amazing and I am so very grateful.
    Some of my friend's mothers younger than mine have been telling them for years that they just wish they would die. That would make me sad beyond belief.
    I agree that we absolutely should have that right. My state (CO) passed a death with dignity law last year but you are correct, it does not cover ALZ.
    Fortunately my mom and I talked about it often when her mind was "clear". I know what she wants and she has it in writing.

    1. Babalax, I hear your words and in many ways I agree with them. I also think that my mother is similar to yours(age, macular, sweetness, etc) Yet I cannot help to ask would I want to keep on living like this. Since my answer is no then how can I not want the same thing for my mom also; believing that this is exactly what she would want. Yes, I am well aware of the different in states that has accepted this law(which I lived in one) that Alzheimer's as such ie cancer cannot be diagnosed with a time period of how much time is left to Live ....this too is sad. Sending you hugs, Lisa

  3. Good question sincerely.
    This disease make us cope the basic questions about life: what makes me human?: "Mom use to love to go to museums, movies and theatre. She enjoyed her morning walks or strolling on the beach. She adored reading, had a great quest for knowledge and loved taking continuing educational classes." Without this, who are we?
    The question keeps open...

    1. Thank you so much for your perspective to what I have questioned. I greatly appreciate it. Lisa

  4. Having lost my dad to Alzheimer's disease I know how you feel. Also working with Alzheimer's patients for many years as an RN before my dad was diagnosed I know what the end is like. I prayed for his heart to stop before Alzheimer's took him. So much heartache going to ER from falling and hurting himself. He didn't understand he didn't have the strength to walk anymore. Watching my mom will herself to die first because she couldn't face dad forgetting who she was. With Dad's last breath he told us he loved us and said goodbye. At that moment he was the dad he was before Alzheimer's took him. It made the last horrible years bearable. Bless you.

  5. I am so sorry about your dad and even sadder that we walk the same path. Hopefully one day they will find a cure before so many more disappear into no where land