- A work of parent and child, and of lovers
- Cancer and gentle loving metaphors
- Let us be gentle with one another
- Four meanings of your life?
- The profession of people meeting well:
- Completing our living is peeling an onion:
- a warp and woof you cannot unweave
- Observation Status Fact Sheet
- The classical guides in dying
- Why does it matter?
- The end of life conversation is about justice–
- When settling in to tell a story to children
- We’re all amateurs
- While you’re yet living….
- Great quantities of unknown
- Less a technician am I than lover & hearer & fan
- What is the work people are doing dying?
- June 2013
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- December 2012
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- January 2012
- December 2011
- November 2011
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Monthly Archives: May 2011
I am finally finding a way to bring together my law work and my poetry work.
I respect the pain of the older ones; I cannot always alleviate it. This is the difference between caring and care. I respect the beauty of each soul, and seek to hear it out into the open.
In writing about legal or medical topics there is a danger of giving too much info which is at the same time too little. The danger arises from transferring fact without nuance. Truism without truth can kill. Info without understanding of the web within which it exists can do great harm. The direction we need heed is wholeness.
Copyright © 2011, Douglas D. Germann, Sr., Professional Corporation.
574/291-0022, fax 574/291-0024, PO Box 2796, South Bend, IN 46680-2796
No one of us has all the answers to this quandary. Life is lived in conversation, is given breath when we impart the best parts of ourselves to one another. On this page we can provide a collecting place for our collective wisdom, fears, joys, and workarounds. Please respond and share with us what works for you.
Here are some ideas that others have shared with me (I will add to these as time goes on, so check the list for new items):
- “The people here cannot have a bad week. They are some of the few people on earth who truly live in the now.” This is what the administrator of a nursing home devoted to Alzheimer’s people told me a few weeks ago.
The job, he told me, was to meet them where they were and not try to correct them nor bring them “truth.” Rather, we need to live, for the time we are with Dad. in his truth. Remember, Dad’s brain has physically shrunk. He does not remember that Mom died, and he is physically unable to remember what you told him a minute ago.
So when you re-mind him that Mom died 5 years ago, you put him through his grief again.
Better to be kind, to be loving, than to try to bring him to your truth.
- “My Mom has all the same emotions and the same intensity of emotions as any of us; she just has them faster and shorter. I have learned to cry and laugh with her. Five minutes later it is all forgotten.” A friend from northern California shared this with me.
“Mom told me the other day ‘Know what I miss about being in this nursing home? I cannot snuggle with my honey.’”
- What if we worked out with a friend to visit each other’s Moms in the nursing home? We did not know them before and do not have the desire to restore them to who they once were: we can meet them as they are today.
This might also help with the issue of distance—we can know that a caring someone is companioning Mom.
- In conferences, people tell me there are compensations for those hours and months they spent with Dad. Enjoy who they are this moment. Get to know them–now–for the first time.
- A friend took her Mother on a trip to Mom’s hometown–here’s where our home stood–there’s where Jimmy took me to the prom–here’s where my parents are buried. It was Mom’s idea, after the daughter suggested a trip to anywhere Mom wanted to go.
- Books, such as Dale Carter’s Transition Aging Parents, and Viki Kind’s Caregiver’s Path to Compassionate Decision Making can be a real God-send.
- Your own journaling. Think journaling will take too much time or you were never one for that? Could you make lists of things Mom or Dad love, things they did, questions to ask? Could you write a letter (or an email) to Mom or Dad? Check out The New Diary, by Tristine Rainer.
Once there was a couple who sought to make their Wills. They thought about their children’s loves and skills and difficulties. They thought about their house of worship. They thought about all the things they did in the world: work and play, service that was for them enlivening, things they wanted to see happen for their grandchildren’s grandchildren and for the world. Then they wrote and wrote and wrote. Love letters. About dreams and making whole. They forgot about making “Wills,” they no longer wanted to dump things, but to put their lives whole to work. Only the lawyer called their dream letters Wills.
Want to know what it costs for Home Care Providers, Adult Day Health Care Facilities, Assisted Living Facilities and Nursing Homes? Nationally and Statewide?
Check out the Genworth study.
This way of doing legal projects is hard work—not just for the attorney. Client and family are apt to leave wrung-out, sweating, with a glow of a task well done. We don’t try to make it unnecessarily easy.
I have a caring heart for my clients. For some I provide care, for all friendship.
A Will is more work than that.
Caring is a bigger thing & includes Care when necessary.
Some are under my care
as under my wing;
all are within my caring heart.
What you say to your grandchildren matters. What message do you have for each? What you say does not matter. For each of them who are you?
What kind of life would you give your grandson? What sort of home for your granddaughter? What career, what passions? What in them would you feed?
It’s about caring about someone who’s still alive, rather than providing care to someone while they’re on their way out.
I don’t tend broken seniors; elders have my heart.
The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care has published a guide called “Piecing together quality long-term care.” It seems to have an even-handed informative approach. You might want to take a look when faced with these tough decisions.
Trying on garments
is young person’s work
working suit and tie
cook’s apron; parent’s towel
expert’s demeanor; hider’s shadows
bon vivant’s broad smile
But later when you’re seeking
your truth & wisdom
the way of this work is to peel layers