Dementia Grief – Unspoken Feeling, By Richard R. Blake

Journal Entry – November 18, 2017

Thelma makes a sound, an unintelligible attempt to communicate. I smile looking into her eyes. “Tell me what you’re thinking,” I ask. “Let’s talk some more about what your day has been like.”

Thelma laughs a combination grin and giggle. Our eyes meet as Thelma smiles in a warm, self-satisfied way. I gently touch her hand.

Her eyes close. I quietly watch Thelma rest, her face relaxed, peaceful, tranquil, and serene. I find paper and pen and begin to write.

Her eyes open briefly. She watches my pen as I scribble words on the page. I tell her, “I’m painting with word pictures, as I create your portrait on my paper. She seems to like this idea. Her face shows a kind of curiosity, love, and acceptance. I have come to understand that our inner feelings do not always have to be expressed vocally. Thelma’s eyes and her smile say it all.


I understand it usually takes about two years to work through the stages of grief. It isn’t often you can share this grief together with your loved one. Thelma and I are traveling that journey together, one day at a time.

I am learning new lessons all the time as I relinquish Thelma’s care into the hands of others while I deal with the apprehension and anxiety that accompany the uncertainty about the future of this journey.

I am getting a better understanding of the truth that God never intended for us to walk alone and that our times are in God’s time. I am learning to be willing to become vulnerable and to respect the feelings of others as well.

I am finding a new closeness to Thelma, as we share quiet moments, allowing our mutual feelings blossom into a joyful hope. I continue to accept the process of death and the conflicting feelings of loss and the agonizing dread of that day.

I draw strength from our assurance and the blessed promise of a wonderful life awaiting us in heaven in the presence of the Lord Jesus.


Questions to Ponder:

  1. Can you identify with Richard and Thelma’s unspoken sense of communication?
  2. Are you familiar with the book “The Seven Stages of Grief?”
  3. At what stage are you in on this journey as a caregiver?
  4. Do you understand the term Ambiguous Grieving?
  5. Are you familiar with “Palliative Hospice Care?”

More Questions to Consider:

  1. Do you have a Health Care Team?
  2. Are you officially designated as a decisive health care proxy for your loved one?
  3. Are you familiar with the term Health Care Advance Directives?

Staying Together – Marriage a Lifelong Affair By Steve and Mary Prokopchakm – A Book Review


Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

Equipping Couples for a Lifetime Marriage Commitment

In their book “Staying Together – Marriage a Lifelong Affair” family marriage counselors Steve and Mary Prokopchak equip their readers with workable solutions for dealing with issues of insecurity, healthy boundaries, finances, intimacy and other equally important concerns for enjoying a lifelong marriage together.

The book integrates creative practical principles tools and Biblical teaching with probing questions and assessments to help couples work together at building or rebuilding a successful marriage relationship.

A varied selection of thought-provoking quotations from recognized leaders and celebrities, in all walks of life, are uniquely used to provide “nuggets” of wisdom for introducing chapter contents.

Each chapter introduces an important focus using examples from their own marriage, of more than 40 years, or a true life story from other couples; whose marriages have endured after finding solutions and healing by putting into practice the application of these principles.

I found the chapter suggesting “The Twelve Values Found in Healthy Marriage Relationships” especially helpful. The chapter contains important values for every married couple wanting to create an environment for personal growth, individual maturity, and transparent relationships.

“Staying Together – Marriage a Lifelong Affair” is an excellent resource for use as a weekend mini-retreat for couples to be intentional in working through the many assessment exercises, evaluating together their individual discoveries.

Highly recommended.

A complimentary copy of this book was provided for review purposes. The opinions expressed are my own.

Destiny Image Publishers, Inc.  P. O. Box 310, Shippensburg, PA 17257, 978-0768414905, $16.99, 2017, 238 Pages