I hope I never lose the memory of going to a luau with my grandparents. My brother was in the Navy and stationed at Pearl Harbor when my grandparents and I went to visit him. I remember Grandma was so excited that they could get me an “assistant” discount because I was traveling with senior citizens (they were both in their 80s) 😉 The whole trip with them was fun, from renting a convertible, seeing pineapple plantations, and trying Mahi Mahi for the first time (Grandpa made me and I have loved eating fish ever since).
“I would hate to lose the memory of picking up Champ from the kennels. I had already bought him a collar, jacket, etc., and was pestering the owner of the kennels about when I could bring him home. It was February, freezing cold, we had met twice, and I couldn’t sleep thinking about him in such a cold kennel on his own.
“100% my dog is my best pal. I don’t care if people think that’s sad.
“I ended up picking him up on Valentine’s Day, which was pretty fitting for the start of the most basic but rewarding friendship.” —Rebecca
3. “I would hate to lose the memory of seeing all my children being born. It was brutal and terrifying and beautiful at the same time. Each experience was different and I remember all three vividly, pretty much minute by minute.
“I would also hate to lose the memory of the first time I beat my brother in a fight. He used to kick my ass, and then one day, I threw the [expletive] down the stairs. That put a stop to things.” —Simon
“To be honest, I still haven’t come to terms with my grandma’s death about a year and a half ago.
“I called her when she was on her deathbed. I told her everything was good, that I still loved my job, that I was still cooking new things for myself, and that I loved her. Her eyes had been closed for two days and she wasn’t speaking at the time, but my dad put the phone back to his ear and told me that her breathing had sped up and she’d smiled a little when she heard me tell her everything was OK.
“She had a full life, a hearty laugh, and a smile on her face right to the end. If I lose a single piece of Elaine, I doubt I’ll be OK.” —Chris D
5. “The first time someone looks at you and you can tell, without a doubt, that they love you in some way because their eyes just cannot lie.
“N.B.: This moment also has huge potential to mess you up for a long time.” —Chris F
6. “I genuinely don’t want to forget the first time I had my heart broken – a definite learning experience, and made me realise I definitely deserved to be treated better.” —Natalie
7. “Nearly two years ago, my grandma fell very ill from a lung infection. She lived in Shanghai, and my mum was trying to fly out to see her, in her words, ‘maybe for the last time’.
“One day, she spent the entire afternoon in the home office. When she opened the door, she was crying harder than I had ever seen her cry. She pulled me into her and held onto me tightly – not a norm for my family – and said between big, heaving sobs that Grandma had died.
“Her breathing was so stilted that it was hard to understand her. But she asked me why Grandma hadn’t waited for her, which broke my heart and still does, and she lamented not visiting her the year prior.
“Obviously not a happy memory, but it would make me sad to lose it because it reminds me all the time to prioritise spending time with the people I love.” —Emily
8. “When me and all my siblings lived under one roof, we would sit down to dinner every single night and my dad would ask, “What was the best thing that happened to you today?”
“We would always groan and complain, but we’d go around one by one and talk about our days.
“Just the general feeling of being around one table with my family is the one I would be saddest to lose.” —Annabelle
“The look on my boyfriend’s face when he proposed to me. It was a mixture of excitement and fear. He’d written a speech and filled our house with candles and flowers.
“We both cried (a lot) after that.” —Nicky
10. “When I was 4 years old, there was a big forest fire on the mountain where my family lived. All I can remember of the event is my dad standing at the door of our cabin watching red smoke fly up in big plumes far away. I remember vividly asking him if he would tie my Barbie’s hair, but he didn’t respond.
“We evacuated last minute with our four huge Akitas, and apparently it was a very exciting race away from the fire. The whole thing lasted a few days, and when we returned, our house was completely covered in the pink flame repellent they drop on fires from planes (super cute pink house).
“But, I don’t remember any of that.
“All I remember is that my Barbie’s hair went untied, which is my favorite thing because even as a small dude, all I cared about was making Barbie look good.” —Jake
“My granddad died when I was 11, and some are my earliest memories were of him and me.
“I remember one in particular, where I must’ve been about 5 years old, and he had me on his shoulders (and I swear I thought he was like nine feet tall) and was taking me around the market to meet all of his friends. Everyone loved him, and they were all so pleased to meet me. It’s the one I think about whenever I think of him or whenever his name is mentioned in my house.” —Sam
Which memory would you be saddest to lose?
Memory loss is the most common symptom of dementia, and is often one of the most distressing – both for the person with dementia and for those around them.
However, there is plenty that can be done to help manage memory problems to enable people to retain their confidence and independence for as long as possible. Life doesn’t end where dementia begins.
For help and more facts, visit alzheimers.org.uk. Alzheimer’s Society is the UK’s leading dementia support and research charity for people with dementia, their families, and carers.