It is not easy to accept the diagnosis, and it is hard to digest so many emotions. To witness our loved one gradually deteriorating and losing some of his capabilities can be painful; to know that that person will be eventually depending on us to function, day after day, is a huge emotional and logistical burden hard to bear.
It is not easy.
We acknowledge all the hardness of this complex process. And at the same time, we go a step further: once accepted, we also see Alzheimer’s disease as a great opportunity. A unique opportunity in the hands of the caregiver to grow as a person, to live in a more conscious and fulfilling way, creating new nuances in the relationship with the loved one with dementia and those around him, and ultimately, a precious opportunity to be happier.
When dementia sneaks into our homes, the way we have communicated regularly with our loved one might not work any longer, and it is then when new bridges and channels of communication can be built up, more direct ones, simpler, and why not, maybe even more authentic.
Let us take advantage of our loved one´s forgetfulness to allow ourselves to get rid of old grudges too, to delete differences from the past; because when we are able to see our loved one with a new lens and we dare to present ourselves as we are, then we are creating space for more rewarding, authentic and profound communication.
To open up to Alzheimer’s is to open up to the unknown, to a script yet unwritten, to pain, fear, to our own vulnerability, to the ephemeral nature of our journey through life. It also means to be opened to new experiences, such that we would not even dream of, to the greatness of our loved one which is our own greatness. We will be ultimately embracing life itself, and what it has to offer, and above all, embracing our essence as unique human beings.
Susana García, Moving your Soul