Forget-me-nots and dementia
Forget-me-not (Myosotis, from the Greek “mouse’s ear”)
The scientific term for forget-me-nots is Myosotis, which is derived from the reek meaning mouse’s ear. So, if the petals are shaped like mouse’s ears, why are they called forget-me-nots and how did they become associated to Dementia?
A German legend states that while God was in the process of naming all plants, one tiny unnamed plant got impatient and cried out “Forget-me-not, O Lord!”, to which God replied “That shall be your name.” The word was translated and applied to the flower in all different languages, including English. The German term for forget-me-nots is ‘Vergissmeinnicht’.
Henceforth, throughout history, it has been a symbol of wanting to be remembered due its name. In medieval times, ladies often wore forget-me-nots as a sign of faithfulness and love towards their husbands, and in 15th Century Germany, it was supposed that if one was to wear the flower, one would not be forgotten by one’s lover. Additionally, forget-me-nots have been used as a symbol of remembrance of the dead. For example, in 1949, Newfoundland (then a separate British Dominion) used the forget-me-nots for this purpose and it was also used to symbolize the remembrance of the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide.
Therefore, the forget-me-not flower and dementia are linked in the most beautiful way. While dementia causes a decline in memory and cognitive function, the forget-me-not flower symbolizes the not wanting to be forgotten and not wanting to forget, especially by their loved ones.
“Please promise me. If and when the day comes that I may forget who you are, Please promise that you won’t forget that I am still me.”
This extract from the book, ‘When Caring Takes Courage’ magnifies the feelings and emotions felt by people living with dementia and underlines the significance of the forget-me-not flower to dementia. They simply want to be remembered for being them.
My Life Films wants to help people living with dementia and their families to remember their loved one’s memories and stories exactly how they want them to be remembered; simply for being them.