I admit yesterday was a challenging day: emotionally and spiritually. Some personal matters got to me in a way that surprised me. Later, before coming home from work, I visited a sweet elderly client who will be 85 next week.
He is in the middle stages of dementia, in between recognizing that he’s slipping and shifting, and accepting that his mind will be completely gone in no time. Watching him struggle is not an easy feast.
He sat trying to tell me about his deceased wife. He got frustrated and in that moment his tears swelled. Mine began to let go. All I could do was sit holding his hands in mine. I told him it was alright. But the truth is that it’s not alright. And he knew it. It sucks. It’s pure yuckiness.
So we sat there. In silence. Crying. Wiping each other’s tears. Then eventually voices returned to the room. I broke the silence with sarcastic humor and he laughed.
We cannot deny our truths. I remembered at that moment how I felt when I lost my memories and I had to go home with a man I didn’t know after my accident. My brain injury was literally a wake up call. I remember staring at pictures of us and the anger and frustration of not recognizing the moments, or the person. It was excruciating and debilitating.
My client held the picture of his wedding day. He couldn’t understand the white dress or where it was. He recognized his gorgeous wife but he didn’t know what was happening. I took the photograph and traced her dress and told him they were the loveliest couple ever. He smiled. He agreed. He doesn’t remember her name anymore. This is the part that hits him hard.
This was the end of an emotional day. I got him up from his recliner and hugged him tightly. By the time I was leaving he was on to something else. The moments came and went. I believe the visit was truly cathartic for me. I needed the release…and so did he.
This morning I woke clear and free of the inner critic scolding me. The chaos was gone. A gust of wind pushed outside and woke all of us up. Our daughter slept over 12 hours. We all slept great.
Each day I am thankful for long nights that turn into mornings, friends that turn into amazing family members, dreams that turn into reality, challenges that turn into blessings, and likes that surprisingly turn into love in the most unexpected manner.
It’s a great day to have a magical one. Embrace all the emotions and allow for the visitations to come and go. You are a freaking fire. I love you.