Today I am talking
to those of you who are the remaining spouse, having
placed your loved one into a care facility.
Perhaps you are the
type of person who needs to stay busy rather than just
sit at home when coping with this condition known as
Alzheimer’s. I would suspect that this is the case: God
is making a way of escape for you by leading you to
influential people in order to make a significant
difference in the lives of other Alzheimer patients and
caregivers. As far as your personal life goes, you
are in the midst of living your grief out already. Even
though your mate is still alive, you are daily suffering
from the loss of the intangibles that make up their
unique persona. Their personality is deteriorating along
with their body; you are completely separated from your
companion of a lifetime. You know that nothing is ever
going to be like it was before. Your shared home is just
an empty reminder of better days.You live daily with the
memories of the trauma endured when you two lived there
Grief started for
you long before your loved one entered the care
facility. These feelings will continue on after
their physical death. The thoughts you have are
normal. Remember that you are suffering losses
every single day, in some form or another. You
probably never intended to be apart from each other
until one of you died. Instead, every day, they are
dying in front of you on many levels. Although you
know that their spirit remains unchanged and lives on
forever, seldom will you see that side of them when you
are together. Right now, it is hard for you to
grasp that you are never alone, even though they are
leaving your life a little at a time. You know the
grief of caregivers around the world; the grief that is
caused by separation from a lifetime partner who has not
left this world yet. You will one day face and accept
that they have gone on to Heaven and left you behind in
this world. Please remember that none of this was
by their choice. We may never understand why this
disease took them away but we do know they cannot come
back as the strong, dependable, communicative and
protective partner that they once were. Those days
are gone for good.
Part of the process
of grieving is to face these undeniable painful losses
as they occur and then find the strength to overcome
their staggering impact. I believe this is what
you are attempting to do by continuing to be a part of
the world around you. The longer you have loved
someone, the longer and more pronounced your grief.
You grieve now while they still remain in their body.
You will grieve more when they leave. Eventually
that grief will turn to a form of peaceful acceptance.
You will know they have gone on ahead of you. Then
it will no longer bring you pain and devastation.
You will come to a place of acceptance over all of this,
every single bit of it. Grief does not end overnight and
the more sensitive you are, the longer it takes.
You can expect grief to last as little as 6 months or as
long as 5 years, depending on the person. It is
because you are so sensitive and love so deeply, that
you grieve so much. Never lose sight of the truth;
you and your loved one are one for eternity.
Remember that love is the most important commodity we
have on this earth. Walk in it always, and you will be
okay in the outcome.
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