Kathy Griffin Speaks Out About Her Mother’s Struggle With Dementia

Kathy Griffin shares an emotional post about her mother's increasing struggle with memory loss.

Kathy Griffin speaking at the Los Angeles Convention Center.
Phillip Faracone / Getty Images

Kathy Griffin shares an emotional post about her mother's increasing struggle with memory loss.

Comedian Kathy Griffin recently opened up about the emotional struggle she has been going through since her mother, Maggie Griffin, was diagnosed with dementia. Maggie won the hearts of many viewers when she became a regular on Kathy’s Bravo reality series, Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List, according to CNN.

Known for her brash and unapologetic sense of humor, Kathy typically likes to keep things on the lighter side. Until recently, she had not spoken publicly in much detail regarding her mother’s health. However, when fans stopped seeing Maggie in Kathy’s recent videos and posts, they became concerned about her well-being. In a response to the questions she’s been receiving, the comedian shared a heartfelt Instagram post in which she explained her mother’s battle with memory loss and the toll it has taken on their family.

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As heartbreaking as this is, I feel the need to share some important info about my mom Maggie. I've always been honest with you all, but this one is really hard. The pic below, taken in September, was the last time I was able to have a proper/coherent conversation with her.Since that photo was taken, she has rapidly fallen into the throes of dementia. This is never easy for any child, I know this is a reality that millions of people deal with every year. But when it comes to my mom this is particularly hard because her sharp mind was everything. My mom is 98 and up until this past couple years she was so sharp she always kept me on my toes. Her mind was so naturally quick, funny, and smart. No one could get anything past her. Watching that slip away so fast has been devastating.I want to assure you all that she is not in pain and she is getting the best 24-hour care. In terms of how she is now, at this point she only knows my name and I love you. I know many of you know what that reality is like…I'm still grappling with it.  A big reason I'm sharing this news with you is that so many of you have asked why I haven't posted a video of Maggie & her beloved dog Twinkle in the past few months. Now you understand why we haven't been able to share anything, here is a moment between them from this summer. What I am most proud of when I comes to My Life On The D List is that show gave me the opportunity to show the world how naturally funny my parents were. When people tell me they feel like they know my mom, I always respond "you do!" She never put on a show, she was the show. If you ever met my mom and asked for a photo, you should know it was a pleasure as much for her as it was for you. She loved making people happy and making people laugh. And trust me, I know she was the bigger star…thank you from the bottom of my heart for giving us a lifetime of memories.

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The post, which was shared on Thursday, shows Kathy smiling while laying in bed with her mother.

“I’ve always been honest with you all, but this one is really hard,” she wrote. “The pic below, taken in September, was the last time I was able to have a proper/coherent conversation with her,” Kathy began the caption. She went on to explain that her mother’s condition had drastically worsened in the past year and now requires 24-hour care for her own safety. The comedian spoke of the pain of watching her mother’s mind deteriorate, as she had always lived a very healthy and active lifestyle up until this point.

Dementia is a cruel disease that affects the lives of thousands each year, however this is the first time Kathy has had to witness the pain it brings first hand.

“But when it comes to my mom this is particularly hard because her sharp mind was everything. My mom is 98 and up until this past couple years she was so sharp she always kept me on my toes. Her mind was so naturally quick, funny, and smart,” Kathy wrote.

The comedian went on to speak of her gratitude for the support her fans have given her, and the opportunities her reality television show yielded. The series allowed Kathy’s fans to get a deeper sense of her background and get to know the funny personalities of her parents. She attributes her sense of humor to her mother, one of the many personality traits she admires about Maggie. Although Kathy can no longer hold a conversation with Maggie, she is grateful for the lifetime of memories Bravo gave her through her show.