Dementia is a brain disease that causes a long-term and often gradual memory loss and decrease in the ability to think. It affects a person's daily functioning and family members have to learn to cope with something that they do not understand.
Marie EVB Gibbons is one of the online instructors at TeachinArt who teaches the online workshop, post-fired finishes. Her dad is going through the struggles of dementia, and as an artist, she tries to understand what it means to loose you memory and mind. Here is Marie in her own words.
When he doesn't know who I am, he questions if I am someone important to him. I choose to believe that this is proof of the heart's memory. That somehow, in his being, he knows me, but it is not in the traditional way of knowing. When I confirm that I am someone important, that I am his daughter, it brings him to tears, and to feelings of stupidity, and sadness. How can a father forget his child, his wife, his life. I try to comfort him with explanations that might make sense, to both he and I. I like the analogy of an air bubble. I tell him, "I am in an air bubble right now. You can't see the information that goes with me, but the bubble will pop eventually (and hopefully, for a little longer) and then you'll put it all together again, as it is visible, even if just for a moment.