When I first heard of autism, I thought the cruelest part was watching your once healthy 3 year old boy , quietly turn to go inside himself and never return.
When I first experienced someone with Alzheimer's, I thought the cruelest part of it was to watch someone you have known your whole life , completely disappear into themselves to the point mothers couldn't remember children.
When I first saw depression lock someone behind a glass wall and everyone was forced to watch them disappear in to darkness, to a place they couldn't be reached, I thought how cruel.
There are dozens of ways to lose someone before your very eyes. They are here, but gone. Close enough to touch them physically without even having to stretch your arm yet you cannot reach them.
I guess I've been on both sides of the glass and truthfully even I am a little hard pressed for explanation on how I crawled back out of myself, I had long ago surrendered to it, fully and completely surrendered to it's nothingness.
I was just thinking of some people I know and have known that have disappeared into themselves and just how disappointing being powerless really is. There is a part of me that wants to turn my head and the other part is compelled to watch for any remaining or significant signs of life.