To My Grandmother Who Passed Away From Alzheimer’s


To my grandmother,

Do you remember the time we went camping in the RV? The Grand Canyon? Of course, you don’t. But that’s OK.

Alzheimer’s was never something I even imagined someone close to me would be diagnosed with. I remember like it was yesterday. You were diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, and Papa was diagnosed with dementia.

Tatyanna Blaylock when she was baby with her grandmother.
Tatyanna Blaylock when she was baby with her grandmother.

There doesn’t need to be any scientific explanation because it’s something you don’t need to explain. It’s something you don’t cram into a textbook and let students skim over it. The only thing needed was patience.

Your Alzheimer’s disease grew worse and worse, but you were a fighter. You didn’t want to give up because you taught me to stand strong in any situation life throws at me. You were always my biggest role model, and, more importantly, my best friend. But all of that has been stored in my memory while yours is on vacation.

You had gotten very angry many times, and many arguments broke out between you and Papa. But you still loved him. And it’s heartbreaking we couldn’t tell you he passed two years ago; you forgot we told you and got angry and would ask where he is. We couldn’t put you through that kind of hurt constantly and break your heart.

Do you remember me waking you and Papa up on Saturday mornings to go out? See a movie or grocery shop or go out to eat? Waking you up every time was always such a blessing. Because you woke up. But this last time, you didn’t wake up.

My brother and I grew up and saw you less and less. And after Papa had died, you were forgetting more and more. Eventually your body started to let go. You lost strength, and eventually, your mind had gone with it. I’m sure you’re up with Papa remembering the good times. But this is what you couldn’t remember.

You passed away in your sleep the evening of February 3. Just like Papa, you went with ease and no pain or sorrow. I believe you closed your eyes only to be greeted by Our Father and the pearly gates to heaven. You woke up to your husband and your parents. You woke up with no pain, remembering every little thing you couldn’t.

To my grandmother, I love you more than words can say. And one day, I’ll wake up and you’ll be there, and we can spend eternity making spaghetti.

Tatyanna Blaylock when she was a child with her brother and grandparents.
Tatyanna Blaylock when she was a child with her brother and grandparents.

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