MaryBeth Beamer of Big Rapids, Mich., probably didn't think that a video she made for friends and family of her husband Alan would go viral, calling attention to the real pain of Alzheimer's disease, but it did ... and the world may very well be a better place for it.
The heartbreaking video, which features her husband's plea not just for understanding from but to be treated normally by his friends and family, sheds light on the way that Alzheimer's sufferers are often marginalized because of their illness.
To be treated as a child is insult added to injury and the frustration with which Mr. and Mrs. Beamer speak is poignant, real, and palpable.
Mr. Beamer misses his friends. He misses being able to joke around. He misses normalcy and he's able to communicate just how painful that is.
"I wish that my friends could talk to me just like they did before."
Unless you have lived with it or experienced it, there's no way to fully understand what it's like to deal with the decline in cognizance and memory, or to live with the loneliness that accompanies the onset of Alzheimer's.
If you have a loved one with Alzheimer's, it's important to realize that their human needs are still just as real as yours. You may feel as though you are losing them to the disease and that's perfectly valid, but you need to understand that they're slowly losing everyone in their life because of it.