She’s not heavy, she’s my mother: How do I deal with the stress of Mom’s or Dad’s increasing needs?

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.
  • 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.

:- Doug

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What is the most loving way to practice Elder Caring Law?

What do you think is the most loving way to practice Elder Caring Law?

What can we do to be open, imaginative, caring, poetic, whole-making and loving for your family? Please submit your responses and comments below.

Thanks!

:- Doug.

Posted in Caring, Healing and Wholeness | 1 Comment

Will I like dying?

A good death? Will I like death? Can anybody ever like dying? Many in great pain long for the quiet of death, the rest of death. For them, the pain is the dying.

It seems logical that we can like dying. We can teach with our dying. We can learn. We can be fascinated. We can experience. We can be present.

So often, we hope. So we are focused not on what is happening, what we have, but on what comes later. Good or ill, it is not here.

:- Doug.

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Elders maintain or sustain?

Do we our elders maintain?
Or sustain?
Welcome them us to sustain?

:- Doug.

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Turning in your hand

There is no safety
Safety is a lie
Told as if true
Living is mystery
Turning in your hand

:- Doug.

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Reliably changing

Truth is noun, ever and always, static. To true is verb, action, developing, morphing, available, alive. Truth is mirage, truing is reliably changing.

:- Doug.

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Gathering with the forebears

When we are gathering with the forebears what good can we do?

:- Doug.

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Tackle primeval questions

In this course we tackle the primeval questions: What is the meaning of humanicity? Shall we be elders? What is the role of our stories?

:- Doug.

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Busy pandemic days

In all the busy-ness of these pandemic days I must make time to love and to reflect. These are of the same substance. Yes, I must.

:- Doug.

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Stay healthy

Stay healthy. Keep loving. Reflect.

:- Doug.

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Pandemic open us?

To what can this pandemic open us?
What can we see now we didn’t before?
Let’s look all the way to seeing

:- Doug.

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A dying whose time has come

This pandemic is a death; certainly many die. But it is, if we let it, a dying of something whose time has come in our culture. We are now in fearing, that is, in anticipatory grieving. Soon we will be in actual grieving. Study.

:- Doug.

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January baby boom

Consider we will have a January baby boom
Consider we make time to consider, to reflect

:- Doug.

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Let’s not go back

Let’s not go back
to business as usual
Let’s go better
to serving life and living

:- Doug.

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We don’t need to get through covid-19

After Covid-19, it’s a new world out there. We don’t need to get through it, we need to help one another get through it. To a new side.

:- Doug.

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Pandemic turn

Could this pandemic
Turn us to one another
Maybe we’ll
find our purpose
is each other?

:- Doug.

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Pandemic interruption

Is this pandemic an interruption
Or is it our generation’s main path?

:- Doug.

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Because you see this other

You are because another sees you
You are because another hears you
Whom do you see and hear in 300 years?

:- Doug.

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Deepeners

One man had a heart attack
Both my parents died the same night
What were your deepeners?

:- Doug.

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