Tag Archive | healing after a death

Lying and Alzheimers Disease

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If you have a loved one with Alzheimer’s Disease or Dementia, you’ve probably told a fib or two, or perhaps better said, you’ve stretched the truth in order to spare them pain.  I know I have.  I was recently talking with a friend whose Momma is dear to my heart and we were discussing how we’ve stretched the truth at times in order to keep our loved ones’ minds at peace.  My friend was sharing how she worries about the tall tales we have used to cover up the truth when faced with uneasy questions.  The subject of the Good Book and Judgement Day came up.

Do you think we’d be forgiven for the lies, even though they were said with a loving heart and in the hopes of calming the confused minds of our loved ones?

What do you think?

Please don’t misunderstand my intentions.  I’m not advocating lying.  I’m simply putting it out there for discussion among those who are in the Alzheimer’s and Dementia community.  I want to know if you have fibbed and what you think about it.  Let me clarify, I didn’t just decide to fib on a whim.  My intentions were to soothe their confused minds and to give them peace and let them be happy in the present moment.  They have grieved enough in this lifetime.

For me, I have fibbed when I felt it necessary to not cause my loved ones repeated emotional pain.  I have measured and taken my cues from my loved ones’ emotional status when they’ve asked me hard questions repeatedly about someone – for example, “Where is he/she?”  Instead of telling the truth outright, “They passed away,” (and you’ve known that, but you can’t remember it), I’ve learned to ask them, “Where do you think he/she is?”  Many times, I have gone along with whatever they are thinking which has brought them peace.  I’ve also been known to answer in vague terms, such as, “I know if she/he could be here, they would be.  They are looking out for you still.  Yes, they are at home,” (but I’m meaning their spiritual home and the confused mind is thinking the physical home).

I’ve found that being in the moment with loved ones with memory problems is hard when we know the reality, but easier, when we put their hearts first.  There are times when they know their loved ones have passed away and the tears of sadness that ensue are heart-wrenching for us all.  They remember that they died and the sadness is all-encompassing even though they had forgotten that they knew.  There are times when they ask for validation and I am careful to make sure I check to see what they are remembering before I answer.  For if they remember that so and so passed away, it is nothing but an insult to lie at that point.  Truth given with love soothes the confused mind many times.  And yet, at others, there is no soothing truth.  It is simply a moment filled with anguish and peace is nowhere to be found.

I have learned that changing the subject often helps in some situations.  Repeatedly going down that sad path of loss can be detoured when we change the subject drastically.  Heaven knows, I’ve interrupted that path often with the offer of a cookie or a Hershey’s kiss or just by telling them, “I love you so much!” and following up with a hug.  Sometimes it works…and sometimes it doesn’t.  But it’s worth a try.

I know there are different degrees of memory loss as it is a progressive disease.  Even moment to moment, I have seen clarity, then confusion, changing in a few minutes span of time.  It’s a roller coaster ride sometimes and hard to manage for all of us.  I can’t even begin to imagine how it is for them when thoughts can be fleeting, words elusive and memory blurred or simply out of reach.

So, what are your thoughts?  Do you fib sometimes?  Do you have any tips for redirecting conversations?  What works for you and your loved ones?  What doesn’t work?  Please share!

Shine On!

xo

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The Power of Purr

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This is my baby Tiffy in our favorite position, on the couch, wrapped in blankies, face up like a baby, snuggled next to my heart, her purr reverberating into my soul.  She just knows and verbally meows at me until I take her in my arms and sit down.  We snuggle, I regain my bearings and enjoy the presents of being present for a bit.  It’s amazing what a little bit of fur therapy (our family word for holding the cat and petting her soft fur) can do ~ it can calm you, center you, wipe away tears and help you to feel the love.  There is power in purring, I truly believe this as our other cat Chessie who passed away in March most definitely helped me through breast cancer by staying by my side at all times and purring by my side so that her powerful purr reverberated into my body and soul.  I know I sound like a crazy cat lady, but I do believe in the power of purr.  Sometimes it’s the smallest things that Make a Difference in our lives. ♥

So, today, here’s a bit of virtual fur therapy for you!  May you know you are loved.

Shine On!

xo

This post is also doubling as Michelle’s Pet Challenge…join us by clicking here!

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Michelle’s Weekly Pet Challenge

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Ellie ~ a perfect little angel!

Meet Ellie, my friend’s pup with whom I enjoyed a playful romp in her yard the other day.  What fun we had just running around the yard playing tag!  I felt like I was 5 years old again, laughing and smiling when I needed it most.  It’s such a gift to enjoy the moment of now, to frolic in the leaves of fall and to find our inner child and let her go for a few minutes!  How freeing it is to find joy to store up for when you need it most.  Yesterday we had sad news so today I will remember how happy this moment was and use it to heal my soul and dislodge some of my sadness.

Thanks little Ellie for the puppy therapy yesterday!  The giggles heal the sadness in my soul.

Shine On!

xo

Michelle’s Weekly Pet Challenge ~ Click Here!

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In Remembrance

24905_All Saint’s Day ~ El Día de Muertos ~ The Day of the Dead ~ is a day of remembrance for those who have passed ~ for those who etch themselves on our hearts, never to be forgotten.  Today I honor them all and I hope you will give a moment to honor your loved ones who have passed as well.  Just for a moment, be grateful for having had the chance to know them.  Blessings don’t always come wrapped up in a pretty bow.  Sometimes it takes awhile to know what was a blessing.  ♥

There are places I remember
All my life, though some have changed
Some forever, not for better
And some have gone, and some remain

All these places have their moments
With lovers and friends I still can recall
Some are dead and some are living
In my life I love them all

But of all these friends and lovers
There is no one compares with you
And these memories lose their meaning
When I think of love as something new

Though I know I’ll never ever lose affection
For people and things that went before
I know I’ll often stop and think about them
In my life I love you more

Songwriters:  John Lennon/Paul McCartney, sung by Bette Midler

Shine On!
xo
P.S.  Don’t forget Rabbit Rabbit!

Dance Like Nobody’s Watching!

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Dance like nobody’s watching; love like you’ve never been hurt.

Sing like nobody’s listening; live like it’s heaven on earth.” –  Mark Twain

I’ve been having a tough time lately.  You may have noticed that I haven’t been posting ~ or maybe you haven’t!  But I think I’m back again.  I had to take a break and just grieve, transition through the rest of the stages of sadness so that I could find freedom again to be me.  With the help of my family, friends, loved ones and you, my dearest blog village (thank you all!), I think…I’m Baaack!

I found the above quote awhile back, had it in my drafts with the ballerina pic (I used to dance ballet for years!) and because it beckoned to me today, here I am!

I’ve been changing a lot lately ~ finding that ol’ spitfire that lurks deep inside.  You know the one that you were before the responsibilities of life began dragging you down.  Before the hustle and bustle of paying bills, worrying about whatever, balancing work, family, marriage and thinking about everyone but yourself.  Do you know what I mean?  Are you with me?

Well, with the beginning of Inner Hotshot University, inner-hotshot-university I began slowly changing ~ stretching out of my comfort zone, trying to eat the frog everyday today-is-your-day and I thought I was doing well until I had a little setback of grief.  a-full-year-of-sadness

Instead of pushing aside the grief and just forging on which I’ve done a thousand times before, I allowed myself to take some time and feel it, be with it and move through it instead of putting it on the back burner to sizzle for another few weeks.  It’s been one of the best decisions of my life!

I feel freer now to be me if that’s possible.  Not that anyone else but me was limiting my life.  Isn’t that a kicker?  I realized that I LIMIT MY LIFE!

Wowza ~ have you ever had that epiphany?  I feel like I just had a V8 ~ including the smacking my own forehead in disbelief!

So today, I want you to enjoy that feeling of freedom with me! 

Take a moment and turn up the radio/stereo/iPod and…

Dance Like Nobody’s Watching!

Doesn’t it feel like freedom?

Shine On!

xo

P.S.  I’m throwing the roses to you!