Dad went to a service this past week where they read a prayer called “The Slow Loss of Memory.” It touched him deeply. You will see why. This dementia journey is so hard to describe and put into words. This prayer makes it easier to understand and also gives us such hope. For us, it is a real tear jerker but it is also a comfort to read. It comes from a book called Every Moment Holy: Death, Grief, and Hope Vol. 2 p. 25-26. Mom would have loved this book, and also this prayer.
The Slow Loss of Memory
When I no longer know the faces of my family,
Yet will you know me, O Lord.
When I can no longer remember my own name,
Yet will you remember me.
This will be my enduring hope,
until at last I wake from my long fog
into a bright morning of clarity
and see you face to face,
remembering again all that I had forgotten,
and knowing then even as I am known.
In light of this promise,
give me peace even now,
secure in the knowledge that what is obscured
from me is not truly lost, only tucked away and
waiting to be revealed fully in that eternal light.
O God though all else be hid from me, all memory,
all knowledge, all understanding, do not hide your presence.
Be to me more present, more immediate, more abundant
in grace and peace, than ever I knew.
Though I know nothing else, still let me know you.
And if morning dawns when I can no longer name you or
remember to call upon you, be more immediately present
to me then than my own confusions, than my own breath.
Be to me a peace and a light and an abiding sense that
I am loved and held and that all will be well.
Give grace and mercy also, O God,
to those who grieve my decline,
to those who love me, who must
suffer the heartache of such slow loss.
Bless their patient sacrifice on my behalf.
May their hope and their humor hold
and their hearts be strengthened beyond expectation.
Thank you for the years of health and love we
were given to share. May those memories and
your grace sustain the in sorrow.
Be near us now.
O Father, in my weakness be strong.
O Jesus, in my loss, be found.
O Spirit, in my absence, be present.
Oh God, in my forgetfulness, remember me, your child.