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Alzheimer’s Disease and Telling a Loved One About a Death

alzheimersflowerMy Mom recently lost her sister with whom she lived in a memory care facility.  It broke my heart to deliver the news to her, so I remained mum for a while and didn’t tell her.  She believed our Aunt was still alive in the hospital for longer than she was, as we contemplated how to tell her the sad news.

But God and the Universe had different plans.  For you see, her resident friends who knew Aunt Mable were also concerned about Aunt Mable and wondered when she would return home.  Mom was told that she was still in the hospital getting treatment, but in truth, she had passed away.  Little could any of us know that one little lady, who is wheelchair bound, blind and has hallucinations along with memory issues would be able to succeed in calling the hospital in hopes that Mom could talk with Aunt Mable and get more information.  A miracle unto itself that she accomplished this with her cell phone.  Sadly, she got the news that Mable had passed away and in a loving manner told Mom.  I know she thought she was helping, but her announcement wasn’t what we had planned.  We were trying to get to Mom to tell her ourselves in person.

Looking through the eyes of an observer, this little lady’s heart was in the right place.  She saw our Mom upset and wanted to help and when I see the situation with a loving heart, I am grateful.  But in that moment when Mom reached out to me, sobbing that she had heard that her sister had passed away and was frantic, I felt powerless.  I had wanted so much to shield Mom from the pain and be there when she found out in order to help her through her grief.  In the end though, life unfolded as it was meant to be.

It is hard for anyone with memory issues to remember, let alone to keep the information that a loved one has passed away, for their ability to remember fades and rallies, moment to moment.  The acceptance of what feels unacceptable (a death of a sister) is too much for the mind to handle and it fades, only to return after a bit and the grief begins again.  It’s a roller coaster for all involved as we try so desperately to soothe a broken heart as the knowledge comes and goes, along with the grief.

There’s no easy way and from my experiences, the only rule is to keep a loving heart, flow with the moment’s understanding and continue to offer love and support to Mom.  That’s all we can do in every situation quite honestly.  Be open, be kind and love.

May you find your Sunday to be filled with peace and love, this is my wish always.

Shine On!

xo

 

 

 

Saying Goodbye To A Loved One

sayinggoodbyetoalovedone

As I climbed into bed last night, laid my weary head and heart on the soft down pillow, I sighed deeply.  Such a day full of emotion and perseverance that frankly, I was exhausted.  I closed my eyes and began to pray for peace as I often do.  In that quiet moment of reverie, I surrendered.  I had done all that I could, pushed through the limits and swallowed and alternatively let go of many tears.  But as I prayed, it was in gratitude for all of the angels who attended this day.

When a loved one passes, it is never easy for those left behind.  After the initial shock, because even when we know they are sick, it is still a shock to know that they have passed, there was work to be done, papers to be signed, a funeral home to be called, family and friends to be notified and a personal life of responsibility to continue living, all at the same time.  It’s a day of moving through the grief in order to process the necessities that need to be done, all the while, alternatively stifling and letting out the grief of losing a loved one.  Tears poured from my eyes at times and quiet sobs escaped (probably not so quietly) as the reality hit me in waves.

Last night the epiphany which I knew already, hit me.  Why do we grieve when our loved one passes?  Some of us believe that their departed souls return home to God and I have to ask myself,  why aren’t I rejoicing that she is no longer in earthy life school, no longer suffering with a body which had grown old and desperately needed repair?  My answer was selfish – I wanted to be with her when she passed and hold her hand as she departed peacefully from this earth, onward and upward back home.  I wanted her to hear my voice telling her how much we loved her and although I tried to move mountains in plane travel plans, I was unable to get to her in time.  What brings my sad heart peace is that I know in my heart that she knew I loved her and she was not alone when she passed.  She had her pastor there, who by the grace of God, arrived only moments beforehand.  She had been visited by a dear friend of ours who had kissed her on the forehead and told her how much we all loved her.  At 88, she had lived a long life, on her own terms with lots of love in her heart and a dash of stubbornness which served her well.  She had brought much joy to the world by being a teacher who made a difference and who had received the joy and was gifted back by her students (especially Lisa).

This morning I awoke thinking of Aunt Mable and as tears poured down my face in the early dawn, house quiet, alone with my thoughts, I realized again, how short this life can be even when it lasts 88 years and how important making connections with others truly is.  Although I often write about connecting with others, I’m reminded yet again, how our legacy is in our connections and not in our earthly possessions.  I think it bears repeating.  Hearts connecting means more than material possessions as we flow to our next chapter.  The legacy of making a difference, accepting, helping, inspiring, encouraging and loving are pricelessly worth millions in spiritual wealth.

So this morning, I bow my head in honor of a life well-lived, an Aunt whom I loved and who loved me.  I know she is home again in Heaven, with her family and loved ones and she is remembered here by the loved ones and family she left behind.  Surely, her soul is leaping with joy to be pain-free, her brain free of the confines of dementia, and free of the bonds of life school.  Rest in peace, Aunt Mable.

Thank you dearest friends for allowing me to share this morning.  I needed to write.  May you have a lovely Saturday, making connections with all whom you meet and even if a simple smile passes between you and a stranger, let the love of humankind flow freely.

Shine On!

xo

Have You Ever Had Signs From Loved Ones?

happybirthdayinheaven

Born on All Saint’s Day, my Dad has celebrated his birthday in Heaven for 5 years now.  Tempus Fugit as he would say, meaning ‘time flies’ and I would humbly have to agree with him.

I’m a bit melancholy today.  Perhaps that happens to you when it’s a loved one’s birth or death date  who has already passed on?  So much has changed in our lives since he left.  So much of our lives have changed so drastically.  Sometimes I wish I could just ask him for advice.

And then, just when I’m wondering if I’m doing everything right, or the way he would have wanted me to, he sends an earthy angel to tell me.  Recently, a friend of mine, out of the blue, who never knew my Dad told me that my Dad wanted me to know that he is prroud of me for all that I’m doing now.  This man said he felt a huge urge to say that to me and to pass along a message to me (from my Dad).  It was as if my Dad knew I needed to hear those words and I most certainly did.

While the veil is thinner, I pray that you and your loved ones can communicate a bit more, or at least, you can feel peace.  I have had a few signs lately, so I know he’s watching over his family.  There’s been a lot of forgiveness between us because as you know, ‘time heals,’ and I’m proof of that phrase.

So be on the lookout – feathers, coins, synchronicity, unexplained phenomenon and sometimes even more physical feelings of cool air, lights blinking, etc. can be signs.

Love is eternal even when we can’t see them.

Have you ever had signs from loved ones?  Please share!

Shine On!

xo

 

What’s It All About, Alfie?

 

whatsitallaboutalfie

A little tribute to Alfie because I’ve been feeling your presence lately, Daddy.  Thanks for the reminders that you are here.

Shine On!

xo

“Alfie”
What’s it all about, Alfie?
Is it just, for the moment we live?
What’s it all about Alfie?
When you sort it out, Alfie
Are we meant to take more than we give?
Or are we meant to be kind?
And if only fools are kind, Alfie
Then I guess it is wise to be cruel
And if life belongs only to the strong, Alfie
What will you lend on an old golden rule?
As sure as I believe there’s a heaven above Alfie,
I know there’s something much more
Something even non-believers,
they can believe in
I believe in love, Alfie
Without true love we just exist, Alfie
Until you find the love you’ve missed
You’re nothing,
Alfie
When you walk, let your heart lead the way
And you’ll find love any day, Alfie
Alfie.

What Does It Mean To Hear An Owl Screaming Outside Your Window At Night?

OwlMeaning

What Does It Mean To Hear An Owl

Screaming Outside Your Window At Night?

Picture this:  3am and I am awakened from a sound sleep by a strange sound.  In fact, it sounded like a strange type of screaming and I immediately sat up straight in bed with a start!  My heart was pounding.  I looked around my bedroom and saw that neither of our cats were making the noise which woke me.

SCREAMMMMM!  I heard it again!  This time I distinctly heard it come from outside my bedroom window.  Whew!  It wasn’t coming from inside our home which meant all were safe and sound.  Again, the warbling cry was heard and I peeked out the window, but I could only see darkness.

What could be making that racket?

Somehow, it came to me, that it was an owl.  I don’t know why I knew it, but I just knew it was an owl.  Not the typical hoot of an owl for sure, but an almost wounded cry that came practically rhythmically for half an hour.  And then, as suddenly as it began, all was quiet.

The cats were on high alert while we listened to the owl.  Intently watching the windows, but with their ears perked to every squawk and screech the owl made.

I must tell you that all sorts of superstitions ran through my head while I listened intently to the owl.  The next day, I checked google to find an audio/video on YouTube of an owl making the same noise and only one audio was similar, but none were exact.

Anyway, does anyone know what it means to hear an owl screaming like that?  Part of me thought it might be a warning of a death, but so far, everyone is still here, healthy and happy for which I’m grateful.  Any and all help is appreciated, so please feel free to comment below.

Let me know if you’ve ever heard an owl screaming.  Why do they do that?  What does it mean?

Thank you for your help!  Keep your heartlights shining!  I can see you from here!

Shine on!

xo

 

 

What Is Strength?

strongestpeople

“The strongest people are not those

who show strength in front of us,

but those who win battles

we know nothing about.”
~ Anonymous

Happy Saturday!

Shine On!

xo

 

Remembrance on All Saint’s Day

angels

Today is All Saint’s Day on the Catholic calendar.  It coincides with my deceased father’s birthday which makes the day one of remembrance for me.  I think of all those who have passed before me and I took a moment for each of them this morning when I awoke to say a prayer for them.  I think it’s important to remember those who have gone before us and the gifts that they have given to us, the lessons we learned and the knowledge that we now have because of our experiences with them.

A new month for me is a beginning, just like each dawn heralds a new day and another chance to begin again.  Peacefully I lay my head on the pillow at night, resting my brain and allowing whatever foibles of the day to be forgiven.  I arise in the mornings with a fresh slate to do the best I can for myself and everyone else with whom I come into contact.

It is a blessing to be here today as it is everyday.  I am grateful as I am sure you are too to be able to breathe, to live and to love.  Sometimes it’s hard work to get through the day, but at the end of it, I hope that you find a soft, comfortable place to lay your head, your heart and your mind.  Today, I am reminded to communicate with my soul and with others on a soul to soul level for each of us carries the baggage of life experiences.  Oftentimes, at least for me, I find I forget to reconnect my heartstrings to my soul’s essence, to find gratitude in the experiences I’ve been delivered and to look for the blessings in each and every moment.

So today, take my hand…let’s walk baby steps towards the light.  Let’s remember those who have passed with gratitude for their heartlights.  Let’s connect with those who are here on Earth and appreciate them.  Let’s smile, laugh and love all those souls.  Let’s be the peacekeepers here on Earth.  Let’s look to the Heavens with our heartlights shining and embrace the love that is ours by Divine Right.  Let’s be in this moment, filled with peaceful loving energy and know in our hearts that we are embraced by God’s light and love.

Shine On!

xo

P.S.  And don’t forget to say, Rabbit, Rabbit! ♥