Alzheimer’s and dementia are absolutely devastating.
Watching your loved ones slowly fade away is an extremely painful experience and nothing hurts more than when someone you’ve known for 60 years doesn’t know who you are anymore. Some days are good, some days are bad, but at the end of the day, you know things will never be the same.
And as always, when we’re struggling to find the words, struggling to play the hand that life has dealt us, or maybe just looking for somebody that knows what we’re going through, country music is there.
Country music has had its share of songs that tell both, heartbreaking and hopeful, stories of Alzheimer’s disease. And if nothing else, it’s the healing power of songs like these that let’s you know that you’re not alone, in the times when you need it most.
Here’s 10 of those songs.
1. Eric Church/William Michael Morgan – “I Know Who He Is”
Thought to be written by Eric Church, this song was eventually cut by William Michael Morgan with credit solely to Casey Beathard. Both versions are incredible.
2. Glen Campbell – “I’m Not Gonna Miss You”
3. Dixie Chicks – “Silent House”
4. Randall King – “When He Knows Me”
5. Brett Eldredge – “Raymond”
“Raymond” tells the story of a nursing home janitor that befriends one of sweet ladies that live there. However due to her battle with Alzheimer’s, she thinks the janitor is her son Raymond who passed away back in 1971, presumably during the Vietnam War. Knowing full well that he isn’t her son, the janitor steps in until she gets to see her real son again some day.
6. Kenny Chesney – “While he Still Knows Who I Am”
7. Ashley Campbell – ‘Remembering”
8. Jay Allen – “Blank Stares”
9. Rascal Flatts – “Ellsworth”
10. Riley Green – “Numbers On The Cars”
Riley’s “Numbers On The Cars” is one of the most powerful songs on his debut album. It details the life of Riley’s grandfather who doesn’t remember much these days, including recognizing Riley himself, but he still knows Merle Haggard’s voice and he still remembers the numbers on the sides of the cars during a NASCAR race. And, even if only for a few seconds, that race gives him a glimmer of remembrance and a moment they can both share. Powerful stuff.