It’s been a while since I’ve sat down to write a blog, but honestly, I have not been procrastinating. More of my time is tied up now visiting my husband in the nursing home, tackling the learning curve of becoming financially creative as meeting life expenses is now solely up to me, and giving a lot of thought to just getting through the coming winter as the cost of inflation and heat are new concerns faced by many of us.
I’ve processed through a lot of the grief that arises at witnessing a loved one fading from dementia. Yes, I still have my husband for hugs and hand holding, but even so I am losing my best friend as my first go-to resource when problems come up that need resolution. He was a first rate problem solver. Fortunately, I have that resource of good memory and imagination that can ask, ”How might Alan resolve this particular dilemma?” Usually by doing so I can think up several potential answers, and one of them will work if another does not. The trick is perseverance. Keep trying and never give up.
So although I have not been present online much lately, I have almost completely cleared and changed the look of my living space. Cleaning house took precedence, as my husband had become something of a hoarder as his dementia worsened. I painted the living area and even tackled the project of refinishing an old, but beautiful wooden floor. The last project is to renovate the den so I can increase workflow and return to my authorship ambitions. I am proud of myself for tackling something new and doing a good job of it. Renovating my living space was something of a survival tactic for me as I passed through the stages of grief.
This year has been challenging for many of us who work on ourselves with the intention of spiritual evolution. True inner transmutation does not arrive without change and challenge. We can use the hard times in our lives to do the deep inner introspective work that aids our evolution in response to the effects of life itself. I cry when I need too, laugh just as often these days at some memory of Alan that wandered in the door, and sometimes cry and laugh at once. I step into the emotion, because emotions are powerful and transformative forces for growth. I have learned that I don’t have to act on an emotion. Just allowing the feeling is to accept what that emotion has to teach me.
When I was a kid, strong emotions were not favored in our home. Stuffing things down and repressing them led to important self information getting buried for years! Now that I have learned to accept what I feel as valid, I have allowed repressed emotions to come alive again and move through me, bringing a freedom I had not known since the years I was a small child running down the ridge of pine trees my dad planted on the border of Faahs Drive. Emotional freedom has brought me the gift of multi-dimensionality. In any given moment I am capable of feeling love, hate, anger and compassion, thereby choosing what I will give expression to in my life experience.
Creative choice, I am learning, makes every day fresh and new. While I am still struggling with Alan’s condition, I am choosing more and more to be present to him as he is. Our time together takes on a special meaning as there are no expectations that need meeting. We sit together in our best authenticity. On the days I cannot visit him, we stay in touch by phone as best we can. Somedays my dear one mistakes the phone for the TV remote, or hangs up before we connect. But these are the vagaries of his illness. Dwelling more from his essence, he has lost his anger, and my time with him is filled with an incredible sweetness. I am grateful for what I have.