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:
- Can you identify with Richard and Thelma’s unspoken sense of communication?
- Are you familiar with the book “The Seven Stages of Grief?”
- At what stage are you in on this journey as a caregiver?
- Do you understand the term Ambiguous Grieving?
- Are you familiar with “Palliative Hospice Care?”
More Questions to Consider:
- Do you have a Health Care Team?
- Are you officially designated as a decisive health care proxy for your loved one?
- Are you familiar with the term Health Care Advance Directives?