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Sharing tragic news with a dementia patient

Over on The New Old Age blog today, Celia Watson Seupel has penned an amazingly personal, and amazingly heartbreaking, account of finding out alongside her mother - who is 93 years old and suffering from dementia - that Watson Seupel's son killed himself. The piece offers a window of insight into how dementia can rob people of their loved ones and can magnify tragedy; instead of being comforted by her mother after hearing the horrific news, the grieving writer found herself continuing her role as caregiver:

“Mom,” I asked her quietly, “are you O.K.?”

“I’m O.K.,” she said, nodding.

“Any pains?”

“No pains.”

“Do you know what is going on?” I asked.

Her eyes tilted toward mine. “Maybe it’s better if I don’t,” she said.

I was moved to tears by the rest of the piece.

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