In The Maze

In The Maze

A Poem by Chris Shaw

( the progression of dementia in loved ones )

these early summer days
find auntie in a deeper maze
of lost in the past

memories of years gone by
blue sky and childhood friends
fast forward to a wretched end

today she didn’t remember me
pieces of the jigsaw gone
scattered and eaten by brain’s decay

i had morphed into my mother
her brother’s wife and she was
so delighted to see me

how young you look she said
how do you do it tell me how
where have you been all these years

why am I staying here
can you take me back to the square
to see my mum and dad

glad the visit was cut short
her caught in the misery of dementia
and the fear of what she suffers next

so held her hand and hugged her
what else can you do other than
reassure her and say you love her

© 2024 Chris Shaw

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Featured Review

Chris, with my paternal Grandma it was cancer. She beat it once. Intestinal cancer. It wasted her away. I remember the last time I saw her. She had shriveled to nothing, gaunt and skeletal. She couldn't really move anymore, there just wasn't the muscle mass remaining. She looked mortified. The family stood around and said nothing. Just watched. I'm so thankful I had the presence of mind to walk up, kiss her on the cheek, and tell her I loved her. Tears welled in her eyes. That poor, brave woman. Still think about her 20 years later. Cheers, friend.

Posted 1 Month Ago

2 of 2 people found this review constructive.

Chris Shaw

1 Month Ago

Thank you my friend for that heart felt share. That kiss meant the world to her. She felt your love .. read more
John Sullivan

1 Month Ago

We don't, it's true. You're a kind soul, Ms. Shaw. Appreciate you


oh chris. losing a loved one is never easy, especially to something so rough. losing my mother to liver cancer was the hardest thing to every grow through. i remember the day before she died. she had barely spoken a word to anyone but i hugged her and told her i missed her and she hugged me back and said, “i missed you too sweetie.”
when everything is over and they’re gone, then we must reflect. find the good in the bad. terrible diseases as cancer or dementia have their better moments. i remember how my mother would talk and start dancing to the rhythm of her words. it was the funniest thing to witness her twirling and talking about ducks. remember to reflect in your grief and find the better times.
please reach out if you need anything dear. much love. -mabel

Posted 3 Days Ago

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So sad this disease that robs folk of their entire past but let's then live on.
A friend of mine was diagnosed 7 years ago and has in the very recent past
passed away...62years young.
Hope you are keeping well Christine and the less than seasonal weather is not preventing you from enjoying your "boating"

Posted 1 Week Ago

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Posted 1 Week Ago

I can feel the raw pain in your words. How skillful you are at drawing out these emotions.

Posted 2 Weeks Ago

Your poem was a touching read. It beautifully captures the poignant journey of a loved one navigating dementia. The imagery of early summer days and Auntie's maze of memories fading into the past evokes nostalgia tinged with sadness. The poem sensitively portrays the contrast between cherished memories and the disorienting reality of dementia, highlighting the poignant moments of recognition and confusion. Your portrayal of love and reassurance in the face of Auntie's struggles is touching and resonant, making the poem a heartfelt exploration of memory and familial bonds.

Posted 3 Weeks Ago

Such a tragic situation. When a loved one has dementia, it is best to just agree with most anything they say. My aunt thought I was my grandmother....and I went along with it. Holding her hand and telling her you love her is the best thing you can do, Chris. Heartfelt well written. Lydi***

Posted 3 Weeks Ago

Dear Chris
I know the feeling, my mom....and eats your heart out and you feel helpless, what to do, what to seem nothing will change... the way you portray this is so empathically and soft....and feeling helpless yet pouring out your love the best that you can do...and it seems you accomplished...
sad, but oh so many....
Warmly, B

Posted 3 Weeks Ago

I'm not sure which would be worse, to have any form of dementia, or to be like my mom and have all your mind but nothing else working. Mom was always independent, stubborn, and brilliant. She is still all of those things, but can't see, can't hear, and had no cartilage in her knees. She cries all the time.
In any case, when we lied with extended family, we could share the duties of care, but in today's world brothers, sisters, and parents are willy-nilly and gone in every direction, and it is hard on everyone.

Posted 3 Weeks Ago

Thanks, Chris for sharing. It touched my heart because I'm Mom. Pass 6/11/24' of dementia and to ready your poem today was with great consolation. Again Thanks!

Posted 4 Weeks Ago

Chris Shaw

4 Weeks Ago

Thank you for your kind words. I feel for anyone who has lost a loved one to this disease. It is cru.. read more

3 Weeks Ago

Thanks, Chris, for your gracious words.
such insult life is ... riddled with design flaws and abject defects
helpless at birth defenseless at death
apt to make wrong moves based on failed cognitive incompetence and self-inflicted stupidities

but as flawed we are there is resolution as we possess the abilities to lov to be loved and practice empathy unlike the other critters
it is disheartening to witness the breakdown of what once was

your brilliance shines bright thru choice shown
'fast forward to a wretched end'
'pieces of the jigsaw gone'

needless to give compliment when your writing stands on it's own buy i will anyway
i could not stop reading and did a second run ... a gracious tribute to a loved one

please don't let anyone know there is an apparent 'soft' spot within me

Posted 4 Weeks Ago

Chris Shaw

4 Weeks Ago

Thank you Keith for stopping by to review. Your thoughts are always appreciated. Have a good day. read more

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22 Reviews
Added on June 12, 2024
Last Updated on June 12, 2024


Chris Shaw
Chris Shaw

Berkshire, United Kingdom

Albert, my paternal grandfather introduced me to Tennyson when I was nine. I have loved poetry ever since but did not attempt writing a single piece until I was 40. It's never too late to try somethin.. more..


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