This is a lovely New York Times (nytimes.com) article by a gentleman whose grandmother JoAnn was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s seven years ago. I think the message applies to our approach in coping with any family member’s diagnosis — not just a diagnosis of dementia.
Here’s a key excerpt:
“But what I learned from my grandmother’s journey through Alzheimer’s was that my grief regarding her condition had largely to do with my failure to accept the change she was undergoing. Regardless of how I felt about it, JoAnn’s change was the truth. What was gone in her was not missing. And the more fully I understood that, the more present I was able to be during her final years.”
Tying in one tidbit from a webinar I was on earlier today, it sounds as if the gentleman was stuck in the “denial” phase of grief and had to get to the “acceptance” stage before he could adjust his thinking “to be present” with his grandmother.
Here’s a link to the full article:
Finding Joy in Alzheimer’s
By Robert Leleux
New York Times
February 16, 2012, 12:01 am
The author of the article, Robert Leleux, is the author of the book “The Living End: A Memoir of Forgetting and Forgiving.”