Archive | April 2014

Whatever the Season, Plant Seeds of Hope

VineLeafSingleWithShade

The bright autumn leaves are beginning to fade. Time to make way for winter. But whatever the season, for each of us, it’s time to plant seeds of hope.

Not unlike the seasons, our own lives, are cycles. Sometimes they are full of natural grace. Other times it feels as if we are bracing against life’s icy winds.

I watch two families I am close to caring for elderly parents. (One with dementia, the other with bodies which are simply wearing out.) Being a carer, you often feel you are way behind: there’s so much more to do — a cycle without end.

Yet even in the bleakest of times, there are moments of natural grace, moments which stir the heart. And sometimes that can be as simple as a smile of recognition, words of inspiration, or a quiet moment on the porch watching leaves sparkle in the sunshine.

Text and Image Copyright Michele Gierck

Michele’s website: http://www.michelegierck.com.au

Moments in Life Mark a New Season

FallenLeaf

Some moments in life mark a new season: the first blossom, the first autumn leaf to fall, or the first conversation of a soon-to-be carer with an aging relative.

I was reminded of the latter recently as I watched two families I am close to dealing with the end-of-life journey of parents.

Having accompanied my own mother through memory loss and the medical maze, I can’t help thinking that we could deal with our parents’ end-of-life journey better by being prepared earlier.

And here’s a simple start. Get the right legal documents ready long before you need them. Here in Australia, each state is different. While having a Will and Enduring Powers of Attorney (financial and medical) may be standard, documents like Guardianship or an Advanced Health Directive may also be required.

And for the carer, find a place of reflection, a place to take time out. For me, the garden was just the place. And it has continued to be. (The last gift my mother gave me before she died was the eucalyptus silver princess, a photo of which appears in the header of this blog.)

I do wonder if anyone else has top tips for dealing with memory loss in general, Alzheimer’s in particular, and the medical maze we accompany our loved one through as they approach the end of their earthly journey. If so, I’d be delighted to hear from you.

Image: first autumn leaf to fall in Michele’s garden (2014)
Image and Text copyright Michele Gierck (but feel free to pass it on with attribution)

Michele’s website: http://www.michelegierck.com.au