Welcome, dear Reader. And so we begin our journey together. I come to you reflecting on my journey with grief, with Mom and with dementia, in the context of A Course in Miracles.
I loved Julie’s blog in ‘Julie and Julia’ – the movie. In the beginning she only had one reader, one fan: her Mom. Well, my Mom will never read my blog.
You see, my Mom has dementia. Over the past nine years she has slowly lost her memory. I had the blessing of living with her in her home in Florida for a year and a half, before her dementia got so difficult and exhausting to manage that we (my seven siblings and I) made the difficult decision to place her in Memory Care.
When I considered moving to Florida to be with Mom, I didn’t realize what living with dementia day to day would be like, although I read ‘The 36 Hour Day’ to prepare myself. I recalled our fun times, hanging out together during my summer visits to NY and thought what fun it would be to reconnect with her, only to realize that she was different. She was slower, mentally and physically. She would space out. She was not the ‘with it’ Mom I had known and loved for so long. But she was still my Mom. And I loved her. I still do, and always will.
It is because of my Mom that I have great love for the Blessed Mother. I remember coming home from school many times to find my Mom waking from a nap on the couch, rosary in hand. Dad called her ‘St. June of the Laundry Room’ and the laundry room was her chapel, her solace, her sanctuary, as she surrounded herself with novena cards, cards of the Blessed Mother, St. Anthony and various other saints. She had a daily ritual of prayer while she dutifully did laundry for her husband and eight children.
So what will this blog be about, you ask? It will be my reflections on dementia, grief and loss and what I’ve learned by embracing and working through various losses.
I am also a student of A Course in Miracles and The Way of Mastery. In these teachings, J (my nickname for Jesus, aka, Jeshua ben Joseph) shares about the nature of our being, about the nature of this time-space reality that is not Reality at all. I’ll be sharing my reflections on my journey with Mom and dementia and how that journey helped me better understand the Course due to the contrast it provided: illusion vs. Truth and how these teachings have helped me cope with my Mom’s dementia. And I’ll be sharing about the gift in grief.
What did you say? Did you say, ‘The gift in grief?’ Why, yes indeed, I did. Perhaps you don’t question that statement, which tells me you know what I’m talking about. But if you did question that, rest assured you will have an opportunity to look again at your own grief journey and see what beauty can come of it, like the Phoenix rising from the ashes, or J rising from the dead.
Along with sharing about various losses and offering support along the way, I promise to write one time each week. I look forward to your comments about your journey with grief and loss; what support you are seeking and what you find effective as you walk through life's ever changing landscape.
Till next time, I send you huge Hugs, much Love and a ton of Peace, that this day you may share it with others and by doing so, have an even larger dose returned to you, heaped up and running over. Till then, Shine Your Light, Fellow Traveler!