Alzheimer's blog

A sharing caregiver community offers peace, love and hope

By Angela Lunde December 21, 2012

As this year comes to a close, I'm reflecting on the topics addressed and lively dialogue we've shared over these months.

I don't know most of you personally, and I never want to pretend I always have the answer, or know the best path for anyone outside of myself. Rather, I openly share my thoughts and views based on what I've learned and will continue to learn, the wisdom passed on by others and my own life experiences.

In the same way, many of you offer your touching stories, options, ideas, advice and genuine support to one other. We share words in what often feels like sacred space — without judgment or criticism.

Over the year, we've pondered on topics including self-compassion and compassionate care, coping and finding calm, mindfulness, stigma and labels, confusion over diagnosis and medical jargon, negative behaviors as expression of unmet needs, denial and acceptance, resentment and resilience.

Some of you wrote about moving toward a place of greater awareness, tolerating that there are things largely beyond your control. Others recognized that often it's your own thoughts and feelings that fuel much distress. And for some, a transformation into deeper acceptance has been evident.

Yet, I believe what intertwines this group above all else is a desire to be connected to those whose life reflects our own in some small way. Perhaps this exposes our own suffering, and by doing so, eases suffering.

As I sign-off for 2012, I offer my heartfelt support to each of you. I'll also serve as a channel of gratitude expressed to one another in our caring blog community. I hope many of you feel as DeLisa, who wrote that reading your comments makes her day a little better.

I leave you with a selection of quotes, written by you — members of this supportive community — over the past year. These are your messages of peace, love and hope for today.

"Choose what really matters and let go of what does not." - Rosalie

"Don't worry about all that needs to be done for the entire day, week or month, but rather just (focus on) the 'next right thing.' " - Mary

"You are my periscope." - Jean's words to his caregiving wife Helene

"The journey will have an end, but what's important is how you live it moment to moment." - Karen

"When it feels like we are "having a failure to communicate" moment, I know it is simply time to slow down, hold hands and just BE there." - Rosalie

"I still revert to wishing my husband could be like he used to be ... but I know we can also have joy and appreciate most moments." - Sue

"I have a deep faith & a pretty good sense of humor, both of which see me through the mountains & valleys of life." - Marilyn

"With my limited knowledge and experience as a caregiver, I did the best I could at that time, and I am at peace." - Charlie

"No one on this earth was put here to make me happy ... it has to be my mission." - JoEllen

"You are a fragile human and worthy of love too." - Karen

"We still feel things, still want to be part of things, and really do want to share." - Carole, living with Alzheimer's

"When we truly have compassion for ourselves, it expands us and makes us more loving towards others ..." - Tom

"I am taking a deep breath right now and sending you and myself some love." - Diane

Dec. 21, 2012