Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Only a Little Bit of Wisdom Left

BBC2 will air a documentary this evening titled Wonderland: Norman Wisdom Aged 92 3/4. The film will document the difficulties in dealing with an aging parent. Wisdom, the English entertainer, has dementia that has led him to lose much of his memory. He reportedly doesn't even recognize himself in his films anymore.

"I'd go into the sitting room," says his daughter-in-law, "and he'd be reading anything he could about himself. "Reading and re-reading. He was losing his identity. I think he was trying to remember who he was."
Wisdom now lives in a private nursing home apart from mainstream society. His family feels that they've done the humane thing by moving Wisdom away. Still, the media protests that they want access to interview Wisdom before he dies.
[The media] are not inclined to believe that that isn't Norman any more. We don't have that luxury. Norman is in mental decline. We have to deal with it."

Since filming of the documentary stopped last year, Norman's health has declined steeply. He won't be watching the programme. "He wouldn't understand," Jackie says. "It would distress him."
We believe it was Ella Wheeler Wilcox who once said "The truest greatness lies in being kind; the truest Wisdom in a happy mind." With that in mind, we support Wisdom's family's decision to let the old man live the rest of his time in peace.

[Daily Mail]

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