wings and things

The magic of make-believe

on November 19, 2015

One of the most wonderful aspects of being a small child is the magic of ‘make-believe’ – the power of the young imagination to create anything out of anything and to see the world through the lens of magic.

The first time I climbed high up into a tree as a child, the first time Ming saw fog (he was 4), were moments of intense magic – make-believe moments

Anthony is 23 years older than I am so I have no way of knowing what his childhood make-believe moments were. But, as his Parkinson’s disease dementia progresses, I am becoming more amenable to his visual, auditory and tactile hallucinations. For example, he often sees dogs or calves in his nursing home room and wants me to shoo them into another ‘paddock’; and, yesterday, he asked me who the small boy was, in the corner of the room. This small boy often features in our faltering conversations.

Anthony: Just over there.
Me: Is it Ming?
Anthony: No, of course it isn’t Ming!
Me: So who is it?
Anthony: I don’t know.
Me: So do you like this kid?
Anthony: I think so.
Me: Okay.

I came home last night in a bit of a quandary. Do I tell Ants he is hallucinating and there isn’t a kid in his room? Why is this hallucinated little boy such a constant presence in Anthony’s room? Who is this little boy, if it isn’t Ming?

Maybe the older Anthony has make-believed himself into his childhood self? I don’t know if this is magic or tragic, but I am trying very hard to figure it out and go with the flow etc.

13 responses to “The magic of make-believe

  1. Vicki says:

    I guess it depends on one’s belief system, but young children and the elderly often see the spirits of those that have passed.

    Despite the hallucinations, which are simply hallucinations, I would be very interested to hear Anthony describe this same child he keeps seeing. Does the child speak to him? Can he describe the clothes the child is wearing? Did a child die in an old property on the land where the nursing home is built? And so on…… Curious that he sees the same child.

  2. At times he may indeed be hallucinating but at other times he may be seeing spirits that have past that are connected to him, I am one of those strange people who does believe that spirits or ghosts if you like are around us often and I feel that those who’s mind is like Anthony’s can indeed see them as their mind is often like that of a very young child

  3. Tiny says:

    I so admire your ability to go with the flow, Julie! And I think that is for the best.

  4. Terry says:

    I was taught in nursing to always go along with confused patients . Hope this helps you in some small way , hugs

  5. Magic or tragic–I like that. Applies to a lot of life.

  6. susanpoozan says:

    To go with the flow seems a very good idea to me.

  7. Julie, I had no experience dealing with hallucinations until I went in to people’s homes and they were telling me about the people in their homes, or the airport hangar being built over their house, etc. I learned quickly to talk to them about what they see, they seemed (in my limited interactions) to be relieved to be able to speak about it without me telling them they were wrong. I love that you ask him questions. I believe what you do, they could be hallucinations, or they could be visitors. Spirits. Maybe ask Anthony if the little boy ever speaks to him, or what he (Anthony) thinks the little boy wants. I so love you and your go with the flow for Anthony. You are his girl!

  8. Elizabeth says:

    When my mom always INSISTED on correcting my grandma’s confusion, it appeared to me as so cruel. It seemed to only embarrass and bewilder an already mixed up soul. I’m sure it was only denial on my mom’s part, mixed with the hope of fixing things. Thank you for reminding me of this, as I hope I learned something from the experience.

  9. I am so fascinated by the little boy Ants sees. I would be interested in all he had to say about the little boy, also. Like what does he wear, does he speak, what does he say, and such things. Also, what surrounds the little boy … like a grassy hillside, or in a room in a house, or in a car. Does he smile, cry … In his mind, he really sees those things just like a child sees … it’s very fascinating. I don’t think it’ll help to try to persuade him nothing is there … just make him unhappy, upset. I’m not an expert at anything I’ve written … it’s just all I try to sense, feel and would think about if it were my loved one. Julie, whatever you do … it will be right. Why? Because you are that special kind of person, one I admire very, very much. Love, Gloria

  10. I think that you are going with the flow very well. You are sensitive with your questions and take your cues from there.To deny or overly indulge may be more confusing…I am definitely not an expert on this, we used to ask a few questions, I remember one man was going out to feed his cattle and I asked what kind, then diverted to his food that was in front of him, and invited him to come in and eat after chores.

  11. Colline says:

    The child could also be someone from his past who is a part of his memories. Maybe ask him to talk about him?

  12. ksbeth says:

    i like the go with the flow approach –

  13. i don’t think there is a right answer to this one. it really depends on what works best for you and your lovely man. i think of you every day and send you love, big warm hugs xxx

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