Tuesday, May 9, 2017
A Faithful Reader's Thoughts On The Road Ahead And Living A Better Life
As one who's dealt with Alzheimer's in his own family, I found my friend's thoughts insightful and uplifting. Perhaps you will too.
Each of us undergoes a five-step grieving process every time we suffer a loss, such as the loss of a spouse or family member. Every time we grieve, we go through each step of grieving in the same order every time. Many of you know that my wife has been suffering from ALZ for more than 8 years. During that time I have been her primary caregiver. Following a 15 month search, I recently found a place for my wife where she is safe, comfortable, loved, and enjoys a strong sense of belonging. It's not a place for her to die, but rather a place for her to live her life to the fullest, as best she can every day. For example, it's not uncommon to walk in to find her dancing like a teenager, in the kitchen with the other residents and the caregivers, to the beat of 60's music. She enjoys a strong sense of belonging as she attends staff meetings and often makes the rounds in the morning with the caregivers. Although she is in a steady state of decline, as long as she has her ration of Budweisers she's genuinely happy in her new residence.
As for me, I have endured the long journey through the grieving process and recently arrived at the final "acceptance" stage. I'm discovering I am now able to focus more upon my needs and re-establish a sense of direction of how I wish to continue my adventure in life. To that end, I am undertaking a critical self-inventory of where I perceive myself to be, and where I hope to go with respect to my Physical, Intellectual, Emotional, Spiritual and Social well-being. From there, I intend to re-establish a strong sense of of direction to guide me toward a a happy and more complete life. This is not a "work in progress." I do not intend to create a rigid, inflexible plan, nor am I seeking perfection. Rather, I am seeking to find meaningful ways to pursue life as an everyday adventure, where the joys of discovery are part of my daily living.
Your beliefs become your thoughts,
Your thoughts become your words,
Your words become your actions,
Your actions become your habits,
Your habits become your values,
Your values become your destiny.
-- Mahatma Gandhi