Advocates Advocating Christine Thelker © 2020 Dementia Event For This I Am Grateful Good Grief Living well with Dementia Silver Linings Stress

Weekend Wrap Up

A welcomed reprieve from the relentless heat, yes many love it, but for me and my dementia it is not a good fit, so yesterday and today we were a good ten degrees cooler, heat comes back tomorrow. But how how lovely, yesterday I felt like I had been given a get out of jail card, even my little dog ventured on an early morning walk, after which with her settled back in at home I ventured out walking, strolling, just enjoying the breeze, the lovely air, the freedom. At home all the doors and windows open, the air flowing, no air conditioning, no fans on until bedtime because year round a fan is on at night. It truly was lovely, my music on, I cleaned, danced and then I decided it was time, to take this grief yoga program: the link is below. I am sharing the link because this program you can do at home in your own time, it’s such a great yoga program, it’s free, but most importantly, it’s great for people dealing with any type of grief. Knowing full well that people with dementia have to deal with grieving the loss of self, loss of abilities, loss of relationships and many other losses, I felt it would be great to share. So find an hour a quiet corner to sit or stand. The program is great in its simplicity, it surprised me what it pulled out of me, at one time, while working along with the instructor I realized tears were flowing freely down my face. By the end of it I was spent, yet somehow knew it was in a good way.

Today, I have had a much more peaceful day, I was going to jump in the car and take off for the day, but Pheobe after the morning walk very quietly nested herself in a way that I knew she needed to just be home resting with me nearby, some days are that way now. So I put my Lauren Diagle music on and danced, and allowed myself to get lost in it, let my mind go, finally feeling like the first step towards some healing was happening.

Oddly enough as the day went on, things started to show up tweets about grieving and dementia, emails, about how I needed to be ok with just being at this time. Funny little things and signs, that come to you if you are open to them. All my mediations and yoga’s and taking time to feel my emotions, be in touch with my feelings is and has been good for me, not easy, but necessary.

Perhaps it’s what all those diagnosed should be given at time of diagnosis, the resources and help to learn how to move through this accumulation of grief. My grief I discovered was about the loss of my sister, but also other losses as well as the losses associated with my dementia. The grief yoga program will be one I will be continuing to use for a long time.

Sometimes, during these moments when I wonder where I went, But my life is so vastly different, I don’t know anyone who has not have their life turned upside with a diagnosis, but most will also tell you life in many ways is richer, more meaningful, it doesn’t make the loss of identity, the loss of a life we had is not difficult, and at times trying to navigate the never ending changes and challenges, it can and is difficult. We often hear about and read about how hard it is on others to watch us disappear or fade slowly away, well try watching from the inside. The mental and emotional roller coaster is beyond what most can comprehend, let alone understand, another area where this is no help or resources, we help each other, that’s why peer to peer support is so important. There is no help, there is lots of resources to help care partners and family navigate it but none for the actual person living it.

I felt this saying speaks not only if we are grieving the loss of a loved one but for many with dementia it’s what we often are faced with and feeling. We spend time searching for ourselves, for those pieces of ourselves that have slipped away. We never know when we open our eyes each day, how much of ourselves will remain, it can be overwhelming, daunting. sometimes we just don’t think about it, we just live in the moment, in the day. But sometimes we can’t escape it, the longing, the aching, for who and what we were, eventually many of us move into a place where we accept what is, look out the richness our illness has actually provided us, we find peace in what is, we don’t worry about what will be instead want to find ways to make the most of each precious day, to live in joy.

Having the resources to help people through those difficult years after diagnosis and having the resources as and when we need them as we move along the journey would go a long way to give us a better quality of life which in turn would equate to a better outcome for and on care partners.

I hope many of you give yourself the time to check out the grief-dancer yoga below

May we all find our way to a joyful and peaceful week a head

By WWW.Chrissy's

I am an advocate for people with dementia in Canada and globally, having been diagnosed with younger onset dementia myself a few years ago.

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