I printed this card recently. In trying not to be so hard on myself (listening to the voice that says, “you’re not doing enough), I attempted to block the emotion.
The truth is that sometimes we need to listen to the voice, even if only for a minute or two. Nancy Jane Smith writes about this here, saying “what if there is no happy ending?” And, of course, for me with mom, there isn’t. Her dementia will worsen. One day, she won’t know who I am. Even if she does, she won’t for long as her memory seems to last about an hour these days.
What if that thought is actually freeing? What if that means you can stop hustling, reframing, pretending, changing your thoughts and changing your vibrations all the time? What if you could just be whatever you are without always trying to find the happy ending?”
I have struggled the last ten years to unlock a lifetime of emotions. Yes, I wish I had started earlier. Don’t we all? But dealing with these feelings now is freeing, as Smith says. I hope printing and sharing my cards helps others deal with theirs, too.
Dementia has taught me much about the brain, memory, thinking, and feeling. Grief has its own gifts.