Tag Archive | advice

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

 

 

 

When You Don’t Have A ‘Valentine’ To Love

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When you don’t have a ‘valentine’ to love on Valentine’s Day it can feel awkward, especially if in years past, you did have someone whom you loved, but for whatever reason, you are not together anymore.  Separations can be due to a variety of reasons which makes it hard when it seems like the whole world is celebrating a day of love with their sweetie.

But, I like to think of Valentine’s Day as a holiday for cherishing the relationships we have with others!  It doesn’t need to be only romantic love that we celebrate that day!  Not at all!  For me, since my circumstances have changed, I celebrate Valentine’s Day with gratitude for my children, my family, my soul family and my friends who have filled my life with love.  In fact, let’s celebrate Valentine’s Day together as you’re a part of my blogging family filled with love!  Thanks for being here with me.  I celebrate our connections today too!

So tomorrow, when the heart rises to meet the day, smile!  Greet the hearts and flowers day with gratitude for all of the love you have shared on your life’s journey!  Give thanks for the past loves, the present loves and look forward to the future loves!  But above all, enjoy the present love which envelopes your heart and soul today!  Enjoy the little kindnesses that are shown to you and smile to pass along those kindnesses as well.  We could have a lovefest here on Planet Earth if everyone, for just one day, loved all humankind.  Wouldn’t that be the very best Valentine’s Day ever?

So how about you?  How are you celebrating Valentine’s Day?

Shine On!

xo

Nothing Can Be Done 2 Days Out of the Year

14thdalailama

 

“There are only two days in the year

that nothing can be done.

One is called Yesterday and the other is called Tomorrow.

Today is the right day to Love, Believe, Do and mostly Live.”

~His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama

 

Just a little reminder for us all.  May you enjoy every precious moment, especially this one!

Shine On!

xo

Inspirational credit:   https://www.ramdass.org/his-holiness-the-14th-dalai-lama/

Photo Credit:  Here

Loving Someone With Alzheimer’s

 

alzheimersI have two close family members with Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia.  Although we have been walking this path for over two years, the decline is beginning to show the ravages of the disease.  It’s a normal process I’m told that there are declines, progression of the disease and plateaus.  As with many diseases, its course is unpredictable and unfortunately, non-reversible.

I have made many friends through this journey.  Today I was speaking with another daughter of a Mom with Alzheimer’s.  Commiserating about our loved ones’ situations, we found solace in sharing our feelings about the disease without a cure.  A disease which is documented to be exponentially growing in the coming years, with the ability to even touch our own lives since many times, it is genetically carried.

How mind-blowing is that?  Yes, pun intended.

I read other bloggers who are touched by these diseases.  Caretakers, patients as well as doctors who are dedicated to finding a cure and making life better for those afflicted by this disease and their loved ones who wrestle heart-breakingly with the changes that come as the diseases progress.

Of course, I have much empathy and compassion for those who endure this disease, including my loved ones.  How could I not when I see as they move along this path?  I’m not saying it isn’t confusing or frustrating for those who have the diseases because I know that it is and frankly, I fear that it may strike me one day as well.  So I find myself always trying to go with the flow, to assure my loved ones that they are safe, all is well and to make sure that their lives are as lovely as I can make them.  And that sometimes, in itself, is a full time job.

But every once in awhile, there comes a time when it feels unbearable.  To watch a loved one’s mind slip away is heart-wrenching and I feel so incompetent and powerless to make things better for them.  When there come personality changes which may or may not last for long, but still sting because my loved ones perseverate over something or get angry because of something they believe (which may or may not be true), it’s hard to handle.  It’s difficult to manage and to let go of what is being said because in my heart, I know she doesn’t really mean what she is saying as she just doesn’t know because she has this disease.  But the words and the feelings, sting and pierce my heart anyway.  Probably because I still want her to be who I remember fondly and not the grouchy person who is so angry.

It has been said that when the full moon comes, our minds often are affected and surely, with this disease, I have found that theory to be true.  The coming full moon and eclipse may even be a double whammy in memory care facilities world-wide.  Who knows?

In any case, thank you for reading as the road through aging, isn’t for sissies, no matter how old you are!

Shine On!

xo

 

The Last Time

thelasttime

We never know when the last time will be.  There.  I said it or better, I wrote it.  It’s a fact that most of the time, we never know that this may be the last time for fill in the blank.

Look back on your life and you may find endings and beginnings that at precise time, you might have been unaware were endings and beginnings in the making.

For example, the last time you fed your baby a bottle or changed the diaper (because they started using a sippy cup or going ‘potty’ like a big kid).  Did you know that it would be last time for sure?  Perhaps you are relieved at this point, but maybe in the future, you will look longingly back at their childhood wondering where the time has flittered away?

We can say the same for all types of situations, circumstances and people.  There are a myriad of events that in hindsight we can deem ‘the last time’ which at the time, we didn’t know.

My point is simple:  be present in all of your experiences.  Enjoy this special moment even if it doesn’t feel special, but instead feels routine.  Not to fear ‘the last time’ but to know in your heart, peacefully in your soul, that if this distinct last time were really the last time, you have peace.

So kiss your loved ones hello and goodbye.  Make the extra effort to connect with people, places and animals.  Find that quiet loving presence in your heart and allow it to expand throughout your day.  Don’t allow an opportunity for kindness and connection to pass you by.  Sure, it takes effort to be present, but The Presents of Presence is most definitely worth it!

I’m a living example…and I know you are too!

Feel free to share your experiences with the last time.

Shine On!

xo

 

 

Recipe for Enduring Breast Cancer

76605095_Hope Strength Power Belief Courage Honor Determination

In order to survive Breast Cancer (and any other illness, tragedy, trauma) it’s necessary to collect all of your essential ingredients in order to endure the situation at hand.  A great dose of support is also needed as back up when your ingredients run low and you need a refill.  A quick jog to the store won’t suffice.  You need a team, a village, to count on and that’s where the internet, blogs, websites and support groups can wield a mighty sword to help you combat your ills.

A hefty dose of the above helps:

Hope

Strength

Power

Belief

Courage

Honor

Determination

In addition to a heavy handed sprinkling of

Humor, Love, Presence and Support.

Which is all fine and good as words, but how do you go about stockpiling these main ingredients when you’ve just been blindsided by your diagnosis and news?  I wish I could say it is easy, but it’s not.  That’s where your determination comes in.  You have to set your own mind to believing that you have the courage, the strength, the hope, and the inner power to endure.

You have all of this inside ~ you simply have to tap into it.  You must do the work.  There’s no way around it.  It is your mind that needs to have its power harnessed to heal your life.  Humor, love, presence and support may come from the outside from which you can receive the stores from others.  But you my friend, must believe that you are ready and worthy to battle and must prepare your mind, heart and soul to overcome the obstacles that are placed before you.

So how do you do this?  You harness your mind by feeding it positive thinking.  You eradicate negativity from your life, like removing rose petals from a rose, you gently pluck the negative thoughts from your heart and in place, you add the essence of the rose ~ the inner beauty and strength that comes from a rose simply being a rose.

Is this making any sense to you?  Do you need concrete examples?  Are you thinking I’m too pie in the sky for you?  Too Pollyanna and yippy skippy?  Not down to Earth enough?

Watch for it.  In the meantime, you need to get yourself ready.  Enjoy this day.  Get outside and look up to the sky.  Breathe.  Take 3 minutes to just listen to the wind, feel the earth under your feet and reconnect with nature.  Find a bit of inner and outer peace in being present.  You don’t have to do it for long.   Just feel the peace.

I’m holding  your hand.  You’ve got a friend in me.  Take your time.  Allow the grief and the healing to come to you and welcome it with your arms open wide.  You can do this!

Shine On!

xo

How To Stop Being a “Fixer”

howtostopbeingafixer

It is truly time to allow, to let go and to find a way to not fix it all. I was/am? a person who liked to be in control. Not demanding mind you, (at least I didn’t think I was), but I liked to know the plan and execute it. We may sound similar if you are reading this post. But I have learned that through this journey, I’ve had to let go and it is still hard for me to do. But in letting go, I’ve opened up to an abundance of awareness, growth, love, friendship, connections with others and had an incredible soul journey that would not have been available to me had I stayed in the control, fix it place. Because, what hit me was the line, ‘who died and left you boss? You are not God,’ which I hope does not offend you, but perhaps gives you the added boost to see from an observer mode instead of the path ahead (that we had planned so carefully) that has literally fallen to pieces.

I see the path ahead now, strewn with debris and sometimes avalanches of emotion, hurt, betrayal and sadness. But there is still a path and as I take baby steps forward, I can clear the debris, learn from the experiences and keep moving on. I’ve found that there are others on this path that help me as I help you and as you help me to move forward.  And then also to rest when needed.

I’m not asking you to give up control or to stop fixing…I’m only asking you to accept what is unacceptable as part of the journey of life and to find peace in your heart to welcome the lessons as they will make you stronger in body/mind/soul. It’s a great leap of faith that is your opportunity here. I’m not saying that you need to find God as I don’t even know how you feel about religion.  I believe in God, Divinity and the Universe.  I am comfortable in being spiritual and using what I learn by reading, by communicating and by connecting with others and I find that I am making my own way, picking and choosing what feels right to me at that time ~ and sometimes choosing again when it’s not serving me. That’s the beauty of life.

Many of us come to this life with the idea that everything should be hunky dory because we’ve worked so hard to make it be as such. We strive for the even keel and smooth sailing, but storms arise, even in nature and we must accept that piece in order to find peace. There comes a time in life when we need to grow, to expand our horizons, to search for our next level of understanding in life.

Fix yourself is the first lesson.  Take care of you ~ nuture yourself, grow in your understanding, be patient with yourself and others, read, meditate and allow.  Allowing yourself 5 minutes of silence in which to simply breathe and focus in the morning and at night helps.  You are in charge of you.  You are not in control of anyone else on the fixing level.  Every single person has free will and can choose how they live their life.  You are not God.  Allow Him to do His job and you will see how amazing life can be!

Shine On!

xo