This morning, enjoying that first coffee, just letting thoughts free flow, from here to there. Its been a nice weekend thus far. Yesterday was all about getting stuff done, today will be all about relaxation.
As the thoughts free flow one of the things I am thinking about today is the upcoming holiday season. I have noticed many I know have and are already decorating, some started before remembrance day. Many have told me they really feel the need to this year, they feel they need the pretty lights and decor, maybe because there is so much uncertainty for people on many fronts.
While I think its fabulous that people recognizing that it is something they need and are honouring it, so often we feel we cant because its too early or it too this or that, but seeing people take more and put more attention to their needs , instead of being so busy to even think about what it is they are needing is a great thing. Every day is truly a gift, we should more effort into knowing and honouring what is that makes us feel good and bring us joy.
One thing we all need to do is also allow ourselves and others to honour and feel their grief, their losses, at this time of year we often have an expectation that they somehow put their grief aside because this is supposed to be a happy time of year. But perhaps if we honour the grief, the loss, it also allows room for the joy and happiness. Grieving may be about a person but it may also be about other losses, work, home, health.
These types of losses are real and we need to allow people to grieve them as well. By giving people the space to grieve helps them in their journey to healing as they discover who they are know becoming. Losses change us, at the deepest levels, that often are miss understood by those who have not endured those losses. But just as we need to honour and do the things that bring us joy, make us feel good, in those deepest crevices of who we are, so too must we honour the grieve. It does not mean we cant find ways to bring joy into the mix, find ways to honour that someone, or something. most importantly don’t judge people wherever they are on the ever moving line of the emotional train. Instead of trying to pull them out of it, try asking them about what they are feeling, about the person, or about whatever other loss they may be feeling or thinking about. Talking about that someone or something is often what someone wants more than anything, so please remember give them the gift of helping to remember and honour them.
Also a gentle ok, maybe not so gentle reminder that many with dementia find the holiday season challenging, its not that they don’t want to take part that they don’t want to share in the festivities, but they may need to do it differently, shorter periods of visiting, smaller groups, ( it is for many difficult to follow and process conversations when to many people are conversing). This little tid bit should help you make it more enjoyable for them, perhaps a quiet corner, away from the larger group, where a few people could converse with the person living with dementia, have some gatherings earlier in the day, luncheon meals versus dinner, maybe with those most treasured, more focused on the person with dementia, talk about memories that may trigger great memories for them. Even many of us who are still considered high functioning still need those earlier in the day events, smaller groups. We still want to see people, enjoy the holiday season, but for many of us late afternoon our fatigue ramps up, our cognitive abilities decline, and for many of us quiet time is what we need.
My Christmas will again be spent alone, well not totally alone, with my dog, its been it seems years since I’ve spent Christmas with anyone. I used to love to do lots of decorating and baking and cooking, the later two are by far more challenging know so I don’t really do it anymore. if and when i do things are done in steps and stages over the course of days. Nonetheless decorating i still love although that is scaled back by 100 times of what it was.
Today I will dig out what I have left and perhaps work on making a wreath to hang on my deck. maybe I can be ready to start decorating around the 25th, it takes me a week to fiddle about and get things so I’m m happy with it, so I like to have it all done by December 1st. so that I can enjoy it fully for the month. I really enjoy sitting with a cup of tea with the lights going , and my music playing.
So as we move toward another week, I hope we all kind take a few minutes today to think about what little things we can do too allow others to enjoy the upcoming season in ways that are truly reflective to who they are and not make it about the commercialized season that we have been lead to believe is how or what it should be.