A Creative Contribution from…

Paula McQueen —a Los Angeles resident whose husband, Al, had early-onset Alzheimer’s disease and passed away in August 2011.  The couple met when Paula was 24,  and they were married for 35 years. Paula viewed Al as “my teacher in life.” A long-time writer, the former caregiver has penned multiple poems, including “Widow-In-Limbo,” regarding her experiences with what she calls “the deadly demon.”


For 10 months I was in limbo.
Was I a wife or was I a widow-in-limbo?
For 10 months I came to you with whatever strength I could give you.
You smiled and seemed content.

For 10 months I walked down the hallway to you.
Week-by-week you changed.
I just continued being in limbo.

Then two weeks ago for some reason
you felt my hugs,
heard my voice say I love you,
and you cried.

For 10 months you were not there,
but you came back to me for a short time.
In that time you knew the love I have for you,
you knew the touch on your hand.

I feel so strongly that you came back to me
for the last time, to say good-bye.
Those tears were tears of regret
that we will not see each other anymore.
But those tears were also a release
from the chains that were holding you,
which made you cry with peace in your heart.

Two weeks later, you were gone.
As fast as the disease started,
was as fast as the disease ended.
You are free from those chains my love.
You will never be told what to do anymore.

Run free my wild horse.
There is no more limbo in our lives.
You are finally free
And widow-in-limbo is no more.

Paula McQueen ©