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Posts tagged ‘grief’

Alzheimer’s was… | by Linda Brendle

Alzheimer’s was the evil plaque in Dad’s brain that changed him from a hard-working, easy-going man into a cranky, ill-tempered couch potato.

Alzheimer’s was a thief. It stole Mom away a piece at a time and left me to grieve a loss that went on for years.

Alzheimer’s was a twisted comedian that made me laugh at the ridiculous things Mom did while I cried inside because of the reason behind her antics.

Alzheimer’s was the demon in my head that made me impatient with situations that were no one’s fault and angry at an opponent I couldn’t defeat.

Alzheimer’s was the monster in the closet or under the bed that changed our lives forever once the doctor spoke its name.

But Alzheimer’s was also the loser.

In spite of his difficult final years, Dad left a legacy of peace and love that lives on in the family he left behind.

While Mom’s past disappeared along with her memories, she also forgot the social anxieties and fears that had plagued her all her life and became a real party girl.

The wardrobe mishaps and other silly incidents often led to shared laughter and hugs that made life feel almost normal if only for a moment.

As the good days became fewer, I learned to cherish them when they came.

When Mom’s vocabulary was down to only a few words, one of those words was Jesus; and even to the end, she always responded to music.

Both Mom and Dad passed from this life without a struggle and with peaceful smiles on their faces as they looked into the face of the One who cares for the least of these.

I have found solace in knowing that my task of caregiving was completed not perfectly but well, and I have found comfort in sharing our story with others who are going through the same thing.

Read more about my family’s fight with Alzheimer’s in Mom’s Long Goodbye: A Caregiver’s Tale of Alzheimer’s, Grief, and Comfort released by Anaiah Press on March 12, 2019. Ebook now available at Amazon; print format available soon.

Blessings,

Linda

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Caregiver Quotes and Tips – Caring when You’re Angry | by Linda Brendle

Caring when You're Angry

Caregivers are always filled with sweet, loving feelings towards the ones they care for. Aren’t they? It would be nice if this statement were true, but it is not only untrue, but it is also totally unrealistic. The truth is that caregiving often involves a lot of anger. (more…)

Is There Birthday Cake In Heaven? | by Linda Brendle

BettyBetty Brendle, David’s mother, was born 86 years ago today. Yes, she was born on Halloween, and I’m sure she heard every witch joke ever written and received lots of pumpkin-covered birthday cards during her lifetime. Her children swore that her love of sweeping had something to do with the connection between her birth date and brooms.

Betty passed away in August, but we’re thinking of her today. In fact, we’ve been thinking of her a lot this week. David and I drove over to Louisiana on Sunday, and we’ve spent the week with his sisters, going through the “stuff” that a person accumulates during eight decades of life. Betty was a very organized person, so there’s not a lot of junk to deal with, but there are lots of memories. (more…)

When You Don’t Understand, Bow the Knee | by Linda Brendle

My church family suffered a tragic loss Sunday morning when one of our members, the thirty-one-year-old mother of three, died suddenly. Her death was so unexpected that she and her husband were listed in the bulletins as the greeters for the day. This week has been a time of grieving, reaching out to each other, and asking Why? (more…)

Favorite Photos and Favorite Memories | by Linda Brendle

Young Lovers

Young Lovers

One of the hardest things about being a caregiver is grieving a loss that is ongoing. We had a grief counselor speak at one of our caregiver support meetings, and she suggested that we consider personal and or group rituals to help us to let go of the relationship as we knew it and to move into acceptance of the present reality. The tributes I wrote about on Wednesday were part of that process. Another was our “Favorite Photos and Memories” night. The idea was simple. Each caregiver brought a favorite photo of their loved one and shared the memory behind the photo with the group. It was one of my favorite meetings. (more…)

Loss and Gain | by Linda Brendle

Last week I exchanged several e-mails with a friend who had just returned from a trip to care for a loved one in distress. In addition to travel fatigue, she was feeling especially sad because of the approaching anniversary of the death of someone who played a major role in her life. Her last e-mail was short and to the point.

It’s been a pretty tough week.  Jet lag and grief apparently enhance one another. (more…)

Just Let Me Feel Bad | by Linda Brendle

There is a scene in “Ordinary People” where Conrad is talking to Dr. Berger after Karen has killed herself. Dr. Berger is trying to console Conrad, but it’s not working. Finally, Conrad explodes in frustration.

“I feel bad about this! I feel really, really bad about this. Just let me feel bad about this.” (more…)

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