Kimberly Williams-Paisley on Her Mother’s Dementia
Kimberly Williams-Paisley recently talked about her painful journey with her mother, who has a rare form of dementia.
The Nashville star admitted she had to learn how to love her mother again, but in a new way.
Over the past decade, Williams-Paisley has watched her mother go from the woman she knew all her life, to a stranger. No longer able to grab things without dropping them, pronounce words appropriately or even remember who her family is, the actress’ beloved mother eventually had to move into a long-term care facility.
“The move was the hardest change my tight-knit family has ever had to endure,” Williams-Paisley said in an essay. “Our visits were agonizing for me. I couldn’t look at her without seeing a fading picture of who she used to be. I resented this mostly manic, dangerous, crazy woman who had taken over my mother’s body.”
But now the actress has learned to love her mother for who she is now, instead of holding onto the love she had for who her mother used to be.
After Williams-Paisley connected with other women who were going through the same turmoil with their own mothers, she decided she needed to change the way she loved her mom; she was going to love her in an “innocent” way, much like her toddler son loved.
See how Williams-Paisely balances her life, here:
Now the star helps her mother take care of herself and completes small tasks for her, such as putting on lotion. She describes her mother as a “new” mom, and this changed mindset is perhaps one of the reasons why the actress says she is now able to think about how her mother used to be, without breaking down.
“With almost all language gone, she and I discovered a new way to say, ‘I get you. You understand me. We love each other’,” she said.
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