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Posted: Tuesday, December 20, 2016 10:58 AM
Joined: 12/20/2016
Posts: 4

I composed this poem at the time of my mother's death from Alzheimer's Disease.  I'm sharing it with you in hopes that it might validate your pain, your anger, and inspire hope for your loved one.



Oh!  Dreaded, dark ogre in the night,

you had my mother in your site.

Your fangs all ready to sink themselves in

to our precious mother’s lovely skin.

With stealthy strides you snatched her away

that wasn’t enough for she was your prey,

so you took her mind and her dignity away.


You wouldn’t be satisfied til you’d torn both to shreds;

but not quickly!  No, your appetite hungered to torture her,

before eventually doing her in.

There were times when we’d see life in her eyes

but I was wise to your cruel lies.

She’d look for loved ones, no longer here

moments when her eyes would fill with fear.


She existed in hell, until she died,

even then, she fought you as best she could.

We knew you’d win this one

though fight as we tried,

we were helpless to SEE you,

you were invisible to our eyes!

And not only that,

you knew where to hide.

Inside her brain you feasted away

you’d made up your mind that there, you’d stay.


We watched, terrified, as little by little

her memory did dwindle and fade.

Until before long, her family, she didn’t recognize

as we stood by helplessly, and while we all cried.

I watched my best friend slip through my fingers,

a day at a time she’d slip further away,

until I realized she was out of my reach.



Like watching someone drowning and you can’t swim;

there’s no life raft to throw them, and you can’t jump in.

You stand helplessly by, and watch them go under,

once, twice, but the third time wasn’t the kill.

For we watched her go under a thousand times.

She’d struggle to stay up, but you weren’t kind.

Until finally she’d lost the will to fight

that was when I watched her will to fight, die.

You drove her so deep inside of herself

as you wielded upon her your merciless curse.


Your name is Alzhiemers, or so they say.

The monster who stole our mother away.

Let no man doubt your viciousness,

For I know you instead, as dark, grueling death.

But know this, Alzhiemers, YOU DIDN’T WIN!

Though in God’s eyes you committed a terrible sin!


For now she’s safe in the angels arms,

where you can no longer do her harm.

She’s strolling through paradise in heaven above

where she is pain-free, knows peace and love.

So eat your heart out, for she’s got you beat!

I never doubted in the end, YOU’D know defeat!


(©Copyright September 2016 by JC “Jeanie” Cooke-Fredlund)

Jim Broede
Posted: Tuesday, December 20, 2016 2:13 PM
Joined: 12/22/2011
Posts: 5462

I love your poetry.  Except for one line, which I think you got wrong.

  ‘that was when I watched her spirit die.’



No, no, no. The spirit never dies. It’s there. Granted, it’s was submerged (hidden) by Alzheimer’s. But it was there. Always. You’ve always had the wherewithal  to commune with spirits. With mom’s spirit. You simply had to learn how to connect. Spirit to spirit. It takes practice. You didn’t have to wait until mom died. Mom was born with a spirit. It was there. To be cultivated. The same as now. In the aftermath of Alzheimer’s. Spiritual love. It is now, now, now. And forever. We are spiritual beings. The spirit is within us. Call it what you will. Inner sanctum. Soul. Spirit is spirit is spirit. There to be grasped. To be savored. At any time.  --Jim


Posted: Wednesday, December 21, 2016 8:58 AM
Joined: 12/20/2016
Posts: 4

Thank you for pointing out my error.  What I was referring to was my mother's FIGHTING spirit!  I've made that correction.  Again, thank you!
Posted: Wednesday, December 21, 2016 9:19 AM
Joined: 12/20/2016
Posts: 4

P.S.  I couldn't agree more that the spirit never dies.  In fact, it is my belief (thanks to James VanPraagh's book "Ghosts Among Us" which I cannot recommend highly enough) that when the body dies, the spirit (metaphorically) sheds the body the same way that we shed our winter coat in spring, and the spirit goes about continuing to live in the afterlife!  Thank you!