The written words by Amelia Cottle are a combination of writing from Brian Cottle’s obituary and her journal entries.
Brian Cottle smokes a cigar on the afternoon of Thursday, Dec. 10, 2015. Cigars are a release for Cottle, “Alzheimer’s can’t take this away from me too,” said Cottle referring to his occasion afternoon smoke.
“Our marriage vows, while non-traditional, did include ‘in sickness and in health’. Who really thinks deeply about that vow? Did you consider that sickness includes more than bouts of flu, high blood pressure, or broken bones? Nope, me either.” – written by Amelia Cottle
“There are more things that Brian can’t do than things he can do. So I do these things for him and will continue to do so as long as I can. He still recognizes me but sometimes I get the ‘thousand yard stare’. He still tells me he loves me. I’ll take what he can give though he can give less each day. That’s what the ‘in sickness and in health’ part of the vows means to me.” – written by Amelia Cottle
“Each day that passes is Brian’s last best day. That’s a heavy, sad and painful statement but very true.” – written by Amelia Cottle
“Emily Dickinson wrote ‘I measure every grief I meet’ and her poem resonates with many who read it. I remember it when I’m overwhelmed with ‘anticipatory’ grief – the grief of knowing that Brian will die but he is already dying as a person, long before his body shuts down.” – written by Amelia Cottle
“Sometimes I can’t breathe or move or stop the whirling dervishes in my brain, telling me over and over that I am losing him, that in so many ways I’ve already lost him and that I can’t do a damn thing to change the downward spiral. I want to throw things, break things, and scream at the sky. But still, I hold my frayed edges together, knowing that he is depending on me and that he is holding his frayed edges together as best he can, that he is losing more than I am, that he is losing himself as the Beast becomes less Beast every day.” – written by Amelia Cottle
“In the four years since actual diagnosis, we have been fighting to stay side by side while Alzheimer’s pulls him away from himself, from me and from reality. We are losing and Alzheimer’s is winning. Alzheimer’s ALWAYS wins.” – written by Amelia Cottle
“There is no tomorrow or next week with this disease. It’s marching on and eating his brain every day. Make some good memories now and then you can treasure those when the going gets really rough. And it’s going to get rough. It’s going to really suck but we are going to get through it. As Chris says, we are the fucking Cottle Team and we are sticking together through this. We are on a long journey, taking it one day at a time and finding joy and humor in each day. Love makes it bearable, even when we feel like we’re in the front pew of hell!” – written by Amelia Cottle
“Sometimes my loneliness just overwhelms me. I miss planned lunches, spontaneous visits, and long phone calls. Most of all, I miss Brian. I miss our conversations, discussions, spats, and chatter. It is ironic to feel so achingly lonely when he is always with me. I’ve never been the light in someone’s world but I am his light in his darkening world. I will continue to be that light until his last breath, whether he knows me or not. And then I will be a different kind of lonely.” – written by Amelia Cottle
“I hope his spirit soars through the skies, traveling wherever he wants to go. I hope he goes to Alaska, swims with the bears, runs with the moose and elk, soars through the Valley of 10,000 Smokes and climbs Denali. Maybe he will visit me in my dreams and share adventures with me once again.” – written by Amelia Cottle