"If I could tell the world just one thing it would be: We're All Okay.
And not to worry cause worry is wasteful and useless at times like these.
I won't be made useless, I won't be idle with despair.
Gather mySelf around my Faith for light does the darkness most fear." (Jewel)
A friend wrote to me recently with some news about their father, who is gradually losing cognitive abilities. It took awhile to find the words to write back. Here is what I came up with.
I'm very sorry to hear about your dad's news.
My grandmother had a stroke when she was still alive, after a surgery. She was doing fine, and they came in and got her out of bed and helped her to sit in her chair for a few minutes, as they had done each day - and they came back and she had suffered the stroke.
It was tough seeing her fine one day, then with so much gone the next. While she regained some of her abilities, she struggled with speech, and it was quite difficult for my mom and all of us. She had been a master seamstress, and all of that was gone - all of her creativity and ability to express...
I do not know what it was like for her. I do not know if she compared her skills "today" with those of her youth, or even last week. I only know what it was like for me. Sad. Frustrating. Painful. Agonizing trying to understand what she was asking for, what she wanted or needed. Gut wrenching to see her this way. It was hard to be around, and I wish I had spent more time with her then, on her terms. I was sick when they buried her, and did not go to her funeral.
My dad just accepted her as she was, and began to learn how she was able to communicate. The challenge seemed to be his, not hers, and for all she knew he was thrilled to be challenged with this new aspect of their life together. He never ever acted like anything was wrong, or different - other than the respectful, courtesy things of course, like being sure she was safe when walking, and using stairs, and making sure she was comfortable.
My dad understood - as he always has I think - that "it is what it is", and never missed a beat. Even though this lady had treated him not very nicely for much of their lives together, as his mother in law.
My point is this my Friend: It is what it is.
I respect your compassion, and I respectfully wonder about the wisdom of holding dad in comparison to some past "ideal state" he used to inhabit, and labeling the present moment "sad". Your dad is glorious just as he is, right now. He does not exist in comparison to anyone, or anything, or any idea. He does not exist relative to his past or some idea of a future. That is mind stuff, not existence stuff.
Your dad exists as an Absoulute incarnation of The Grand Self. Pretty impressive stuff. He is Self, acting as grand and glorious a role as any of which we are aware. You can honor the current role my Friend, as well as the past. The man with the 90 IQ is to be honored, is he not?
Perhaps this is what I am trying to get at: My dad honored my grandmother's 80+ years of life, and all she had accomplished, through the display of respect for her in every aspect of his dealings with her. He always treated her as the most brilliant artistic seamstress he'd ever known, even when she could not color a page in a simple child's book.
At the same time he honored the 80+ year old lady with a stroke by helping her color that page, and never ever carrying a thought in his head of how sad this all was as she smeared the page, or spilled her Cheerios everywhere for the thousandth time at breakfast...
He never had time for sad my Friend. He had time for Love. He absorbed his pain into his heart, and it came out Love.
Wow. You are helping me realize how deep my dad's heart is.
I wish you, and yours, Love.
Dance In the Moment,
alice and greg