The Long Goodbye: An Intimate Look At Dementia After 62 Years Of Marriage

21/01/2016 8:43 AM AEDT | Updated 28/09/2016 9:55 PM AEST
Emily Verdouw

Dementia is a cruel disease. An emotional illness that slowly robs someone of their memories.

Loved ones must reacquaint themselves with a different version of their partner, their parent, grandparent or their best friend.

Ultimately, they are forced to grieve for the living.

Video created by Emily Verdouw

After 62 years of marriage, Cees and Nel Verdouw are saying their long goodbye.

Over six decades they have made a life together and are still madly in love. So much so that Cees visits Nel in the nursing home twice a day, everyday. He is devoted to her.

Philip, their son, speaks on behalf of the couple's seven boys about the love they have witnessed and the pain of seeing their “beautiful Mum” fade away.

This story was created not only to share this incredible love story, but to help others understand what it’s like to lose someone through dementia.

It’s also for my grandparents, Nel and Cees, who have inspired myself and our entire family to love in the same way.

And it’s for anyone else saying their long goodbyes.

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