One very poignant passage in Wong Chai Kee’s memoir of his mother’s descent into dementia sticks in my mind. He writes about visiting her one day, and being greeted and invited in very pleasantly. They sit and chat, and he hands her some money as he usually does. She accepts it and thanks him rather formally. He found the experience rather surreal but they continue chatting, and suddenly she gives a start of recognition and says… “Oh, you’re my son!”
She had not recognised him until then. She knew she had a son, but she was not able to put two and two together that the man at her door who came in and gave her money, was indeed her son, until some time had passed.
Other examples are of women who forget who their husbands are, and insist the man they see in front of them is not…
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