"Caregiving Daughter" is the 19th winner of The Compassionate Blog Award...

Posted by Maitri Libellule | Tuesday, April 07, 2009

I cannot begin to tell you how touched I was reading this beautiful blog about an adult daughter of a mother with Alzheimer's caring for her mother while raising her children, the pulls between the daughter that she is, and the mother as well. The exhaustion, the guilt, and every emotion one imagines they would feel under the circumstances, and more. And this is a beautifully written and executed blog as well.

Anyone who has ever cared for aging, ill, or dying parents or other loved ones knows what a heart-wrenching, difficult, and exhausting thing this is. Also, I think Alzheimer's is one of the most terrifying, heartbreaking, and feared diseases today because there are so many unknowns, and watching someone very close to you who has loved you dearly and you them, slip away into a land you cannot enter until finally they do not know you at all. My own mother has been fighting cancer for 4 years now and is getting closer and closer to the end, but we can talk and laugh and remember old times and talk about what is going on today when she is physically up to it. To not be able to have at least that would be so painful that I cannot imagine what "Caregiving Daughter" is going through, and as I wrote to her earlier, she will be helping more people with this blog than she will ever know.

She speaks of practical things as well -- the early signs of the disease, what is known about the disease today, and even how to communicate with someone with dementia -- and I have felt so close to her with every word, I will watch this blog closely for some time to come, and feel with her, and pray for her, and her mother, children and the rest of the family, and I will tell everyone I know about this beautiful blog. I know a few people who would be especially touched and helped with this blog right now.

It is my honor to give this 19th week's Compassionate Blogger Award to "Caregiving Daughter," and I know you will understand why when you read this blog. I know that you will cherish it as I do.

Blessings to you Dearheart, and much love, many prayers, and may your strength endure, as I know it will...

Welcome Friends,..

Thoughts on Compassionate Living...

"How are we ever going to change anything? How is there going to be less aggression in the universe rather than more? We can then bring it down to a more personal level: how do I learn to communicate with somebody who is hurting me or someone who is hurting a lot of people? How do I speak to someone so that some change actually occurs? How do I communicate so that the space opens up and both of us begin to touch in to some kind of basic intelligence that we all share? In a potentially violent encounter, how do I communicate so that neither of us becomes increasingly furious and aggressive? How do I communicate to the heart so that a stuck situation can ventilate? How do I communicate so that things that seem frozen, unworkable, and eternally aggressive begin to soften up, and some kind of compassionate exchange begins to happen?

Well, it starts with being willing to feel what we are going through. It starts with being willing to have a compassionate relationship with the parts of ourselves that we feel are not worthy of existing on the planet. If we are willing through meditation to be mindful not only of what feels comfortable, but also of what pain feels like, if we even aspire to stay awake and open to what we're feeling, to recognize and acknowledge it as best we can in each moment, then something begins to change."

~ Pema Chodron ~

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Maitri is a writer, artist, and teacher. She lives at Dragonfly Cottage on the coast of NC with her rescue pugs. You can find Maitri at: www.maitrilibellule.com