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Kansas in the Fall

Posted Nov 05 2010 11:07am
Kansas is beautiful right now with Fall colors and the first hard frost just past.  I have to do this Kansas promo every now and then for all of you who might live in areas where there are no "real" seasons!  Just joking.

Thanks to several of you who wrote thanking me for the update on the 'ol Doc.  And, we have made it as a blog: I think we had the first "hit" by an automated telemarketer.  I don't understand how these machines can know to connect based on certain words or subjects, but that happened this week.  Such is life in the techno-world of today.

I've been thinking a bit about the grief process which I believe is unique for all of us who are living in the journey from here to over there which is AD.  Don and Jane's daughter Jenny sent a comment to me which caused me to think about her grief process with regard to her Dad.  Grief is something I know a bit about, as I shared life and death with many hundreds of families over my years as a United Methodist clergy .  The end of life holds a finality which is quite real and clear.  Grieving the loss of that life to our own living is a process which is very "tangible".  The life which is gone, is gone.  We struggle to learn to manage our grief.  It is a grief process which does not end as long as we live.  And of course there are many endings of other parts of our lives which we grieve as well. Loss of relationships, loss of our youth, loss as our kids grow up and move away, on and on they all add up.  And all of this adds up to literally hundreds of grief processes which affect us over our own lifetimes.  Some of this grieving we manage well, some of it we never get a handle on managing well.    AD presents us with an elongated process which it seems to me to be akin to many small "deaths".  And the one for whom we care, or for that one who is afflicted with AD, this grief process is kind of a herky-jerky set of struggles.  We see a perfectly normal looking husband, father, brother: and we experience that special person as changing, leaving us, and the conflict of what we see and what we experience is immense.  For the one struggling with the disease, we know who we are, who we have been.  We look the same, but it is not the same.  We are lost in some ways to our unique self.  That self is just out there.  We can almost touch it, but it moves away, farther and farther, day by day. And we grieve this loss. 

With regard to this unique grief with which all of us struggle, I would say to you don't face it alone.  Get support.  Sharing this journey is most important for our own mental, spiritual, and even physical health.   And I would invite you to comment on what I have just written.  How do you see this grief which is part of your life as caregiver or as someone struggling with AD?  My thoughts are with you all.  From Kansas.  Jan 
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