A Mother's Day prayer for families living with dementia
More than 940,000 people are estimated to be currently living with dementia in the UK – more than ever before.
The UK Alzheimer's Society estimates that more than half of the UK population know someone who is living with the condition.
Many tens of thousands of those affected are likely to be mothers or grandmothers.
While the symptoms of dementia can vary greatly, from mild to severe, the development of dementia can be upsetting and emotionally painful - and will be deeply felt by many this Mother's Day.
I lost my mother, Elsie, to Alzheimer's in December 2021. She was 97 and had been affected by dementia for many years before her death.
I wrote this prayer in mum's later years, as I visited her care home and sat with her.
You raised me, and now hardly know me.
You gave me birth, helped me to walk,
Took me to school and showed me what good decisions look like.
You helped me to flourish, to learn, to grow,
And you released me to live my life
And have a family of my own.
Sadly, now dementia has descended and so many memories have drifted into mist.
You may vaguely recognize this man who stands before you,
Yet I'm grateful for all you did for me.
I thank God for the upbringing I had,
And I thank God for all you did to help make me
The man that I am.
This Mother's Day, may you - and all mothers - know God's presence with you,
In the knowledge that God knows you in your innermost being,
knows you as a unique creation,
And may you be surrounded by God's love,
As you are surrounded by mine.
Rev Peter Crumpler is a Church of England minister in St Albans, Herts, UK, and a former communications director with the CofE.