Spitting It Out

Healthy Expression!

Generally, a certain strength and calm comes from getting things off one’s chest, or more specifically, getting things out. While some might scream, or shout out their grief, I’m more of a silent expresser, so I’ll use my words and tell you about my week.

  • I got regular reminders of how my friend with dementia struggles daily to come to terms with her new restrictions. These include not being allowed to go for a walk outside; not having the option to wash her own clothes; not even being able to make a cup of tea. And most of all, “There is nothing to do!” I feel heart-broken that there is nothing that I can do for her.
  • I learned of the unexpected death of Alan, my much-admired and greatly-appreciated podcast friend. Since December only, he was a daily source of information, inspiration and hope. How can someone I’ve never met leave such an emptiness and sadness?
  • I learned of a family member’s newest health concerns. We both continue to feel confidence in her approach, but of course, we still worry and wonder, … what if?
  • I learned that a long-time friend of the family has died.
  • I have daily reminders of the terrible and desperate state of the world, and worry about the ever-increasing downward spiral.

So I write, hoping to cast out some of my grief, some of the toxins to my system.

I speak to friends who will listen and let me ramble on. I tell them that I love them.

I weep hot tears in the forest, quietly, and feel them running down my cold cheeks. Strangely, I am compelled to provoke this response by listening to the music that so endeared me to my podcast friend from the beginning. Somehow this brings me peace.

I blow my nose often.

And I spit.

And, with these various outpourings, I get things out. Some are probably exosomes.

Locked-in-Step Sadness

An elderly woman, suffering from advancing dementia, undergoes a change of residence from the top floor of her seniors’ home to the locked care floor of the same building.

Imagine the changes that she struggles to deal with.

She leaves a comfortable, expensive, well-furnished, two-bedroom apartment with a large pantry, two huge bedroom closets, an entry closet, fridge, stove, washer and dryer, and a balcony to sit on in the summer.

She moves into an expensive, full-care, single room with one entry closet, and a bathroom.

She now sleeps in the provided single bed.

She has a dresser, a wardrobe, a lounge chair and a desk with its chair. She asks me where her two grandsons will sleep. Or sit. When they visit. She doesn’t realize that they probably never will.

We know/feel relieved that she will now be safe from fires and falls and other pitfalls. She is well cared for 24 hours a day.

We also know/hope that this sad reality is one that she will adapt to, and learn to accept, and even enjoy.

Enter the C-19 panic with its ever-changing, and supposedly life-saving regulations.

Imagine this scenario:

  • She now eats her three daily meals alone in her small room, at her small desk.
  • She cannot – for the time being? – leave the floor – neither alone, nor accompanied.
  • She cannot leave her room without a blue medical mask.
  • She cannot have anyone in her room unless both are wearing an approved (not cloth) medical mask.
  • She must always maintain a two meter distance from anyone who visits.
  • She must never share a meal or a drink with a visitor.
  • She may receive only one visitor, once, over the span of a day.

Indeed she is truly locked down and locked in. And I am indeed locked out of her life as she knew it.

Now imagine getting this woman to comprehend this situation, and to remember the rules, and to abide by them. And to put up with the constant, never-ending reminders.

The bottom line is that this feisty elderly woman is, indeed, locked up, locked away from life, and lonely. To say nothing of angry and afraid.

(And she is one of the privileged ones who can afford this care.)

This reality makes me very sad.

Heartaches and Goodbyes

Watching a home be demolished

2018102019382447-IMG_4024

and then be trucked away

was something that stirred my adrenaline —

I don’t see this every day.

I was awed by his skill with the shovel —

that operator worked so well.

But the emotions that grew as I watched him

Made the pain in my stomach swell.

How can this family recover?

How can they turn the page?

How can they feel that justice was done,

Or feel anything other than rage?

2018101916322301-IMG_4018
The Sadness of Walking Away