Forgetting Myself


If you loved Jerry Stahl’s essay “Bad Moments in Parenting” as much as we did, be sure to check out the beautiful, devastating account of of one woman’s experience with dementia by Gerda Saunders. Her deeply personal essay gives insight to how a person reckons with keeping her identity as she struggles to remember her family, how to take care of herself, and even who she is. Like Stahl’s piece, Saunders captures the pressure put on parents to maintain normalcy in the face of personal adversity. Her honesty creates a painful picture of the tolls this disease takes:

One neurologist, one neuropsychologist, dozens of tests, and many hundreds of out-of-pocket dollars later, my neurologist delivered the D-word. Given how early I noticed my symptoms, she projected that two more neurological evaluations at two-year intervals would be needed before I would officially meet the criteria of dementia.

But in my heart I already knew: I am dementing I am dementing I am dementing.

Mary Allen is a writer working, crafting, and making bad puns in the San Francisco Bay Area. More from this author →