Tag Archives: dementia

What would my mother do?

What would my mother do?

This is not a conscience question. This is a food therapy question.IMG_4188

Last night I was out with girlfriends for grief therapy (a.k.a. book club night, catered to meet my immediate need to talk about my mother’s death). This is not remotely what my mother would do in the same situation.

My mother would never go out on a girls’ night for grief therapy. She would stay home and drink hot tea and eat a cookie while she read a book (that’s called food therapy to us non-nutritionists). Or she would find a table that needed refinishing and dig in to the project (that’s called creative therapy to people who love to work). She might do both–she might read late into the night and then start refinishing early in the morning, because reading should be done at night and work should be done in the morning. That’s what my mother would do. And she wouldn’t stop until she was finished, which would be pretty speedy because Mom didn’t let grass grow under her feet. Then she’d feel a little better. But she would never call it therapy.

My therapy is talking about her, obviously. I want to talk about missing her and valuing her, and I want her to hear me. My friends mostly felt the same way. Last night we sat and re-told the stories of our parents’ passings. We nodded and hugged and stifled the little sobs that catch in your throat when you let yourself remember how much you miss hearing the voice of the one you’ve lost.

We all talked about our parents, in between breathing and eating and with no lull whatsoever. When it was my turn (which it generally was), I talked about my mother. I’ve been doing this all week. Sensing and sharing. Sensing and holding it in. Continue reading

Getting ready for a loved one to die

I’m not ready.

It’s one the first things I said, sobbing, when I found out that my mom, who’s had dementiaIMG_3688

for about 10 years, had suddenly experienced a debilitating stroke. I was in the process of planning to move her to a lovely facility, just a one-minute drive from my house. I was so excited! I wanted to spend her remaining years giving care, spending time, and enjoying her, even though she is no longer the same mother I have known throughout my lifetime. Her condition had already digressed enough that I wasn’t afraid to move her to a new location, so I set the wheels in motion. While my brother and his family have done an amazing job caring for her, I couldn’t wait for my turn.

But now she’s not moving anywhere, except into heaven’s bliss. That’s a way better move. But it’s still hard to accept. I want more, now.

None of us feel ready for eternity, even though God created us for it. Our earthly lives are a race against time, and time always runs out before we can win the race. At least that’s how it feels. Continue reading