©2013 Joan M. Newcomb
Sometime this week I realized I'd missed writing last week's Mystic Musings. I spent most of last Friday working on an email to the family, telling them my mother was now bedridden. At the time, I wasn't certain if she had hours or days left.
Silly me. My mother loves sleeping in. Her happiest time of day is in bed, curled up with her radio. So now she gets to "sleep in" 24/7. Instead of being at death's door, she's somewhere in the neighborhood. Maybe.
We've shifted to a 'new normal'.
For me, the caretaking tasks have shifted. I'm now spending nights with her, handing her water or juice, because she can't reach the bottles on her bedside table. I keep the baby monitor on when I leave the room, listening to her cough or call.
It's similar to having a newborn, except I can't put her carseat on the dryer while I fold clothes.
This all happened suddenly over New Years, and I spent several days feeling like her death was imminent. Even though she's been on home hospice since February, I'm not ready. I have so many things to organize.
It really helps to think of this as a New Normal, because then I'm not fighting what is. It reminds me of reverse parenting someone who's disabled. Even if I don't "love what is", I can not fight what is.
I can value the moments. There are many little gifts. My mother appreciates my being with her. Because of her Alzheimer's, she's constantly surprised by what's happening. She remembers and then doesn't remember she has cancer.
I don't tell her she's dying because that would bring up so many feelings she couldn't handle. Then she'd forget the information but wonder why she was so upset.
And we can 'Byron Katie' that thought. My mother is dying - is that true? No, at this moment, my mother is napping. At this moment, she's listening to the radio. At this moment, she's sipping tomato soup.
If I'd only known The Work when I had my first kid, those sleepless nights and endless diaper changes would have been so much easier!
Pretty much anything can be gotten through one day at a time, one moment at a time. How you get through it, how much pain you experience, depends a lot on your thoughts. I say 'a lot', not entirely, because your body's reaction to death is beyond your thoughts. Bodies don't like to die. As Spirit, Essence, you always exist, regardless of having a body, so you don't take death as seriously.
In this moment, however, you are not dying.
So I invite you to look at your life, to anything that has shifted, that has become different, that may be uncomfortable. Think of it as a New Normal. How does that change things?
It's a New Normal, it is temporary. As everything in this physical existence is temporary.
Try this for the next 7 days and see what happens!