balancing gratitude and grief

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A day after writing the gratitude journal post, I was impacted by a part of my life which always throws my efforts at being grateful into a huge heap, and stomps up and down mercilessly on them.

Over the past 3 days, my amazing Mum and Dad, who I love and am so grateful to have…stayed with me, and it’s been great…but it’s also been really hard.

My Mum has advanced Altzheimers disease, and is now at a point where things are getting quite challenging for Dad. Her positive spirit and boundless optimism seem to have defied the disease well beyond the natural point of decline, and she’s definitely flourished for longer than most. But the glimmers of “her” are drifting further and further apart, and it is excruciatingly painful to watch. Not that it’s painful to actually be with her, it’s not at all. She still smiles her beautiful smile, makes happy quirky gestures, and her conversation, despite not always making sense, often conveys an unmistakeable joyfulness. It’s always upon reflection of the time I spend with her that sadness creeps in. My mind drifts towards the parts of “us” which are missing now, and which will never be again. Everything becomes a bit clouded despite the power of the good memories I know that I will have of her forever.

I grasp at the positive moments and dismiss her lost looks, but the pain of them still chinks my emotional armour, and makes me so deeply sad. And yet when I do manage to overcome my grief and reconnect with my grateful heart, I feel lucky she’s been with us for as long as she has. I am also really thankful to have had such a beautiful person as my Mother. A perfect person. I know they don’t actually exist…but she must be close.

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4 thoughts on “balancing gratitude and grief

  1. And further testimony to how wonderful a woman she must be is your fathers continuing resilience to be there for her. Beautiful. And I suspect there is a lot of her in you. Xx

  2. Yes Dad is an absolute trooper. “No point stopping or it’s all over” he said to me yesterday after I suggested that perhaps moving Mum out of her home environment was getting too hard…and he’s the one who hardly got any sleep for 3 days! He is incredible, and I know that she would do the same for him in a heart beat. And thank you Annie…Mx

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