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‘The clouds cleared’: what terminal lucidity teaches us about life, death and dementia – The Guardian

Just before Alex Godfrey’s grandmother died from dementia, she snapped back to lucidity and regaled him with stories of her youth. Could moments like this teach…

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It was the red jelly that did it. It was Christmas 1999 in Rapid City, South Dakota, and Ward Porterfield, 83, was in a nursing home. He had been diagnosed with dementia three years earlier; he was confused and disoriented and eventually he no longer recognised his daughter, Kay. When I went in, she says of her later visits, he didnt know me at all. That Christmas, he refused to eat. Finally I just told them: Bring him jello, he likes jello. Red jello. And he looked at me, really deeply, and said:…

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