What Watching My Granddad Spiral into Dementia Has Taught Me About Life and Love

Illustration by Dan Evans

The first time my granddad didn't recognize me wasn't as bad as I expected it to be. He greeted me with warmth like always, except he didn't call me "Lauren" or "love," but "son." "Hello son," he said to me in the stubborn Dublin accent that years of living in England could not uproot. "How are you?" He was looking right at me, but he didn't know who I was, and that was that.

When my granddad was initially diagnosed with dementia, my first predictably...

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