Kimberly Williams-Paisley: Mother’s Dementia Forced Me To Learn How To Love Her Again

Kimberly Williams-Paisley has admitted that she’s had to learn how to love her mother all over again, after she was struck down with a rare form of dementia.

The Nashville star has revealed that she initially struggled to cope after Linda Williams was diagnosed with primary progressive aphasia, a rare form of the disease.

During a candid personal essay for Redbook magazine, Williams-Paisley writes, “I’ve watched a passionately joyful woman, a devoted mother, an engaged listener and friend deteriorate and transform into someone almost unrecognizable. It’s been agonizing to slowly lose her.”

Linda has now lost the ability to write legibly, say certain words, and she is even unable to pronounce the name of her 4 and a half year old grandson, Jasper. Because of her deteriorating condition, she was eventually taken to a long-term care facility where she is now cared for on a round the clock basis.

The 42-year-old actress added, “The move was the hardest change my tight-knit family has ever had to endure. Our visits were agonizing for me. I couldn’t look at her without seeing a fading picture of who she used to be. I resented this mostly manic, dangerous, crazy woman who had taken over my mother’s body.”

Because of this turmoil, Williams-Paisley has conceded that she has a “new” mom. She scribed, “She is, in many ways, a ‘new’ mom. But now it’s easier to welcome memories of her as she used to be. I remember her as I run, the way she always used to, into a cold ocean when no one else wants to. I’m sure I know how she felt as I listen to my own children with all my heart.”

However, she was only able to reach this place of solace thanks to talking to friends who had gone through similar circumstances. This helped her to understand that she now needed to love her mother in a more “innocent” way.

This has involved communicating with her matriarch wordlessly, and she has now built up a different relationship by completing small tasks for her, such as rubbing cream onto her mother’s skin. As she comes to grips with her mother’s ailment she admits that she is now able to think about how she used to be without breaking down over the loss.

She concluded her emotional piece by revealing, “With almost all language gone, she and I discovered a new way to say, ‘I get you. You understand me. We love each other’.”

[Image via Helga Esteb/Shutterstock]