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When there's just holding hands left

I miss you so much

It is great to live abroad as a student: learning so much from so many different people. And when you’re feeling sad of being far from your loved ones, you remember they think of you and a part of their spirit is by your side.

But then there is this tiny pain, when you remember the only person whose spirit you cannot be sure anymore of. How could you assume your adored grand-aunt, suffering from Alzheimer, is thinking of you? Your common memories, the moments you shared alone with her, you’re probably the only one to remember. Your sister’s too young, your parents are too old, your lover barely knows her, your friends have no clue who she is.

You would just like to sit next to her and hold her hand, like she used to do to secure you when you crossed the streets. And maybe simply by touching her hand, you will feel again all this love she’s got for you and how she remembered what was your favourite pastry. Because you cannot see that anymore in her eyes, you hope that it will flow like a magical fluid by the light pressure of your nails on her skin.

You would like to retain all these slipping memories in your palms and you are so afraid of slowly forgetting the true person she is. It is a strange feeling to miss someone who is still there, because how she looks like now is so different from who she used to be. It is so hard to be far during these years where her awareness is gradually drowning. It is so hard to think that a day will probably come when there will be only holding hands for her to recall who you are. It is painful to envisage that you may not be there on this day.

It is tough to live abroad as a student: you have to give up on holding hands, even though you know that could be the last bridge between you and a person you shared so much with.



Carri Pence's picture

It is hard to be adventurous,

It is hard to be adventurous, to leave the love you have and earned for the instability of a new place. As you stated memories can be feelings and stories that you only hold and others don't share. But it is important to realize that the love you have for your family is a common story shared by all your family members. May they read this entry and realize all the love you have for them and how it will keep you warm just like holding a hand.

Aurore's picture


for you comment, I totally agree with what you said. It is true that adventure is sometimes hard, but it is good to go home and feel that people were waiting there for you. I just hope I could be more present sometimes!

jadefrank's picture


Dear Aurore,

Thank you for opening our eyes to having a loved one suffer from Alzheimers, and how it feels to be so far away and worry that no one else is there to provide the support in your absence.

I had a similar feeling when moving from Alaska to Portland. My grandfather had recently fallen ill, and I would spend every morning rubbing his feet, helping him with his medication, pepping him up with lively chatter, and fixing him special lunches with no salt. He wanted me to leave, because he knew it was best for me, but we both felt a sadness, as we knew that these would possibly be the last time we would spend together in this close way. He passed away a year later. And while I know that moving here was still the right decision, I now treasure those few months we had together and fondly remember my grandpa.

Thank you for reminding me of that and for sharing your own story.

In friendship,

Aurore's picture


Thanks for your comment Jade. That is exactly what I meant in this text : when you know that it is good for you to leave and at the same time when there is someone you want to share more with because you know it's gonna be harder or impossible later.

On the other hand, being far made me more aware of the special relationship my grand aunt and me have together and how much it is unique to both of us.

I hope you don't miss your grand father too much. For sure he is proud of what you are doing on this website !!

Friendship from France,

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