I feel like I’m just beginning to come up for air. I’ve been out of touch for the past couple of weeks. My experience was difficult, but one I’m truly happy to have had.
My sister Johanna and I spent ten days caring for our 89 yr old grandmother with dementia. I’ve been completely out of the “internet” loop and off the computer. My cell phone service was terrible and they don’t have wifi so plugging in was the only option… after I ran out my data plan using my own hotspot. Oops. And aside from that, I didn’t care.
My grandmother is the matriarch of our family. Strong and prideful. Her house always clean and perfectly decorated. The fridge always filled with fresh and delicious food. I remember eating yummy sandwiches on wooden trays with thinly sliced bread, swiss cheese and avocados. And there were always Fritos, her favorite. She has great taste and beautiful clothes. Always classy and elegant with more than a touch of wild and mean. Her house, her rules. “This is not a gymnasium.” That’s how I remember her.
She’s still in there. We’d get glimpses here and there. But much of the time she wanted to sleep. We tried talking to her about her younger life and ours. We’d get moments of clarity, then she’d be gone again. Her only concerns were with having her bags packed, her purse and keys, her dog, Runner’s lead and who’s picking her up. She’s ready to go home.
Leaving her with my parents and coming home to try to get back into the swing of things has been interesting. Trading my laptop for holding, supporting and gently guiding my Grandmother around had a profound effect on me. I was shocked how familiar she felt to me.
Everything about her, I felt I knew. Even though I haven’t spent much time with her in the past 20 or more years and certainly have never been so close as we were in these past days. It’s me. So many things about her are me.
I’m still processing the experience; finding comfort and clarity in what I’ve discovered.
It’s not over. I’m still moving through the energy of it all. Alternately crying and laughing over scenarios I recall or remembering a picture I saw or letter I read. We’re all so closely connected. All intertwined in this game of life. Our lives weaving in and out of each others so seamlessly you don’t even realize that which is you, is also them.
Make no mistake. We are all here for a very important reason. To be our very best and happiest selves. To take what we’ve been given by all those around us and make it into something we love and appreciate.
It’s not always easy, but it can be done. It won’t happen immediately, although it can. Usually, it takes some time and reflection.
When we let ourselves truly feel in our body what we’re experiencing, instead of only thinking about it, it isn’t so difficult. It feels more familiar and comforting. Our minds tend to separate us, but our feelings will always bring us home.
Allow yourself your habitual thought processes at first, give yourself a break and just notice the direction your thoughts are taking. As you expand your awareness it will be easier and easier to separate yourself from the scenario.
Whatever your struggles may be these days, be so soft with yourself. We are such tender human beings.
Every feeling you have ever felt is absolutely valid. You are experiencing your experience and that was the way you felt. No worries at all.
Begin to give yourself the gift of just feeling what you feel, without any commentary from your mind. It will certainly be a transition if you’re one that is critical or judgmental of yourself and others, but you can do it. I’m here to help.
All my love to you,
Find yourself in others and you’ll always know the truth.