Sunday, June 21, 2020

Father's Day, all celebrations are Bittersweet

Father's day is no different. "There is one thing Alzheimer's and Dementia can't take away, and that is Love. Love is not a memory is an emotion that lives in our hearts". I found this poem on the web it's important to always remember that.  Yesterday we celebrated Father's Day one day early, where I work. I saw families coming together to celebrate and thank their fathers'. We put together a  very successful car parade. Living in the time of COVID19 putting on a celebration like this one together was bittersweet to watch. Family members couldn't get close to their loved ones, couldn't hug them or hold their hand. This is the best that we could do under these circumstances. It brought tears to my eyes, as I saw family members desperately waving and shouting "I love you" to their loved ones.
 
It certainly was bittersweet, but when you have a loved one with memory impairment, all celebrations are like that. How do I cope with it? well, you have to understand that behaviors can be unpredictable, prepare for them. In every situation, I always have plan A, B, C, & D ready in the back of my mind. If your loved one is having a good day, and everything is going great enjoy it and be thankful! As with almost everything relating to this disease we have to deconstruct how we go about doing things, celebrations are included in that deconstructing process. We have to find ways that work for us individually. You should always be two steps ahead, anticipate situations, be prepared for them.

We have to learn to live in the moment, savor it, truly be present and enjoy it. Of course, if all is going well. As we know not all days are good days. This is one of the lessons that this disease has thought me, I apply this way of living to every special moment in my life. Yes, you can actually learn new behaviors or modify ones, along the way of this bumpy road of Alzheimer's.

I have learned to survive all celebrations and festivities, with this way of thinking. Trust me it wasn't easy, the first hard lesson: don't dwell on how things could have been, or should have been. Yes, that is easier said than done, I completely understand the emotional heaviness that is attached to certain celebrations, Birthdays, Mother's Day, Father's Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, or Hanukah, it is in our human nature to attach feelings to those important dates. We are programmed for it.

Now things are different, very different. We have to adapt to a new way of celebrating, and adapting to the new reality. Not only COVID 19 is here, but our loved ones have Alzheimer's Disease or another form of dementia. We have to Be prepared, Be informed, and Be empowered.

I send you lots of positive virtual energy. 

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