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I’m sitting here, trying to complete tasks for an art show I’m in on Thursday evening. I have so much to complete, yet I am unable to even begin. . .so I’m here writing. . .

copyright Karen UlvestadI saw my in-laws this weekend, and the experience is haunting. It had been four weeks since our last visit, and my father-in-law is almost non-responsive to the outside world. It was hard to see.

The Parkinson’s is affecting his chest muscles, and he is having difficulty breathing. He gasps for air, and keeps his eyes closed most of the time. I think time must be running out for him, but he hangs on. . .and for what?

copyright Karen UlvestadWe visited a year ago, and he was still with us. He could walk, hold a conversation (though with difficulty), travel short distances in the car, and recognize people.

He went with us to pick-out a Christmas tree, and was able to walk on his own. This is a photo of him during our tree hunt.

I remember that I almost didn’t bring my camera, but at the last moment realized it might be the last Christmas with him. He is still with us, but he isn’t responding to things outside his inner-world.

So, even I want to cry. . .

My entire family is emotionally drained, and only wants the best for him. It’s hard to focus, when the need to cry is just under the surface. For me, this is coupled with the fact my mom died on December 20th, and I think all the emotions are getting tangled-up inside.

Dealing with death and dying is never easy. We carry our memories (both good and bad), and they color our experiences during these times. It becomes a time to look at ourselves to heal old wounds, and reach beyond them to assist the person in transition.

Belief and faith become the corner-stones for daily functioning, and helps navigate the whirl-wind of feelings. Writing or art is the best way to clarify feelings, and keep us from slipping into anger or depression.

The journey of dying is not our path, but the pathway of the individual dying. We only need to remember that, and assist in helping the individual go in the manner which they choose.

More Later. . .Love & Light to All. . .Karen

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