Kiss me and you will see how important I am."
The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath
A kiss is a powerful expression of love, affection, peace, respect or friendship. In Hindu Vedic Sanskrit texts, kissing is described as inhaling each other's soul. Kissing is an expression of human connection and love that is experienced everyday by people living with dementia. Photographs (c) Lisa White, The Social Photographer.
David and Lennyce Westaway: We still love kissing after 60 years. We first kissed at the front gate of Lennyce's place 60 years ago. Lennyce was only 15 years, one month and 9 days old. Her mum came out and said: David, I want you to know that if you are going to take Lennyce out she has to be home the same day she goes out. That kiss changed our life.
Thelma and Brenda Anstis: We love each other very much. We've known each other for 53 years. We've been through tough times together; it was hard at the start, and its different now - but its still hard. When we spend time together we love it. We are very dedicated to each other.
Glenda Hipwell, Brenda and Thelma Anstis: We've known each other for a long time. We trust each other. Together we are strong advocates. We also do fun stuff like nails, make up, art or just go for a strawberry milkshake.
Yvonne Bedford and Anne Tudor: We haven't know each other long but there was an immediate connection. When I first saw Yvonne I thought this is a beautiful, elegant older woman and I want to get to know her.
Jac Kreemers and Mari Ridsdale: We first got together 20 years ago - it only lasted about 6 weeks but we knew there was something really special there. We've been together 6 years this time. We had a lovely afternoon together and never parted. We are both living with dementia. We just get up every day and do our thing. Our love now is like a deep, deep companionship and connection. We feed off each other. Its like in 6 years we've lived the life of a couple that has been together for a very long time. Maybe we were together in a previous life.
Yvonne and Ron Bedford: We met in 1947 and got married in 1950. We've got 6 boys, 14 grandchildren and 8 great grandchildren. We still love each other - my word we do. We still love a kiss and a cuddle too - no doubt about that.
Christine and Paul Bryden: Shall we dance… We’ve been dancing with dementia since we met 19 years ago. The music and the rhythm changes, but the joy and wonder continues as we live this dance together.
Veda Meneghetti and Lynda Henderson: We met 11 years ago at Sydney Mardi Gras and have lived together for 10. We're quite unlike one another: we complement each other. Dementia has tested us sorely but we remain a team, facing it together, each from our own point of view. We will not let go of love, nor mutual respect.
Karen, Kieran and Emelye Glennen: Son, brother, nephew, grandson, lover, husband, father, grandfather, friend, teacher, mentor, learner, traveller, joker, nurturer. Cruel, insidious, creeping disease you do not define me!
Jane Sandow and Rob Trinca: We live quieter, slower, happier lives. Dementia forces changes but creativity in response opens us to simple joys and pleasures. Love deepens when extra support is essential. Thirty years of life together and two lovely children are a source of contentment.
Helen Diamond and Ann Pietsch: Sisters for 57 years. Dementia has softened the edges of our emotions and has enticed and invited a more demonstrable expression of our love and appreciation for each other and the unique bond we share.
Anne Tudor and Edie Mayhew: We met 43 years ago. We were great friends for ten years and then the love became deeper. We’ve been in an intimate relationship now for 33 years and we are still in love and having fun together. For us with dementia there was only two ways to go: a closer relationship - or further apart. We work hard at our relationship and we found our way to something more than we have ever had.
Kieran Glennen and Joff Dobel: We've know each other for over 40 years. We've laughed together so many times its ridiculous. We've been on adventures together that we can't divulge! We have deep love for each other and don't catch up enough - but when we do its great. It always starts with a big hug. We love each other as true friends do.
Karen and Kieran Glennen: Thirty five years together. Thirty two years married. Two children. In laws. One grandson. Our world. Our life. Our happiness.
Glenys Petrie and John Quinn: We’ve been together for 25 years. Fun and laughter are an important part of love and good for our relationship. We are lucky we can still laugh at the simplest things and enjoy life.
Edie Mayhew and members of Victoria Police
Emelye and Kieran Glennen
Andrew Ferguson and Ann Pietsch
Emelye Glennen, Karen Glennen, Kieran Glennen, Mary Madden and Joff Dobel: We’ve been friends for years and weathered many a storm. The love we have for each other has grown as our kids have grown up. There is mutual love, understanding and respect - but we don't talk about politics or religion. We don’t see each other much, but when we do we don’t stop laughing.
Edie Mayhew and Catherine Barrett: We both love ice cream, bush walking, a good laugh and keeping it real.
Catherine Barrett, John Quinn and Glenys Petrie: We met four years ago and we just clicked.
Ann Peitsch, Catherine Barrett and Helen Diamond: We have eight sisters between us and talking about our sisters has helped us to really appreciate them.
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