This long-read by Chris Solomon about losing his father to dementia and what it did to his mother is one of the most moving articles I’ve read all year:
I am still single at middle age. Long commitments have not suited me. The way I feel about love is the way I feel standing before the ocean. Its vastness frightens me—to give yourself over to something so large, so borderless, so beautiful, so brutal. Growing up, I was awed by the devotion of my mother and father to each other, those people whom I admired most. I saw them laughing and bobbing and waving amid the whitecaps of their marriage. As I grew older, I watched couples more closely. I saw the misery that is twin to love and devotion. I watched my parents, near the end. I saw a husband receding from view. I saw a wife with one arm stretched out to him, the other reaching to shore—as Stevie Smith wrote, not waving but drowning.
I don’t know if it was extra poignant since my dad suffers from dementia, but either way it’s beautiful.