Friday 6 April 2012

G is for Guilt/Grace

I felt a lot of guilt over the past few years over what I didn’t do to help my mum when dad was sick and died.  Now I am looking after mum I wonder how she coped especially when dad was at his worst.  Between the ages of 18 – 28 years I thought only of myself and my needs.  I can’t quite imagine how a 5ft  woman cared for a 6ft 3 husband all on her own - in those days there were no carers meetings or social service support, respite was something that the wealthy folks did.....a lot has changed....

I remember mum saying "in my day..." and I promised myself that I would never utter the sayings of my parents when I became one - but I also find myself repeating these words to my son, or telling him to "turn the music down" - my ears tuned to a frequency that the doctor wants to lable as 'middle age'!

I must say it’s by Gods grace that I have made it through, some days, especially those ‘I can’t go on like this’ days,  it's his grace that despite mums confusion whatever you do for her she still always says ‘thank you’ or asks how you are.  Mum can still laugh and see the humour in things and I do think that this is attributed to being able to live in her own home with external support.  If she had been in a care home her decline would be quicker.

It’s by grace that when I complained all those years ago about no time for art, not having a studio, that I was able to run art workshops and work with some amazing individuals all suffering from dementia and other conditions who were always present in the moment doing what they could and participating with enthusiam and encouragement, and it has given me an insight into the power of art and creativity on our health and wellbeing. 

When I think back now to those years when mum looked after dad I have come to terms with knowing I did what I knew how to do at the time, there is no point becoming stuck in what I didn’t do as the most import think to do is focus on what I can do now, and the nuggets that present themselves on a daily basis.

Words so far....

A is for Alzheimer’s, B is for Behaviour, C is for Carer, D is for Dependant, E is for Enough, F is for Fear  

These posts are part of the A-Z Challenge taking place during the month of April.  I have been sharing about my experience as a carer to a mother with Dementia.  If you would like to know more join the Arts in Health Network and also check out my website for information on some of the work I have done with Creativity and Dementia.


  1. When we are weak, then are we strong. I remember the Lord saying" my grace is sufficient". Prayed today for you and your Mum. Just do as I try my best to do, and that is treat them as we would want to be treated. "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." Isn't the Word powerful and strengthing. Praise

  2. Hi Amanda "You write really, really well.", I was captivated by this blog entry...are you secretly writing a novel via the medium of blogging? lol...well you ought to, I was absorbed till the last word. Thank you for sharing your experience.

  3. Just visited another A to Z blogger tracking her mom's alzheimers through the blog. It is wonderful that you are able to get out your thoughts through words and creative endeavours, and so great that you are sharing your story as it will surely offer support to others in similar situations.

    Alana @
    Found you through A to Z!

  4. The image you chose to accompany your post is striking. What a blessing to come to grips with that we simply do the best we can at the given moment. Being stuck in guilt robs of the enjoyment of our current moment.

  5. Lovely G and that pink flower I like it. Do check out my G at GAC a-z.

  6. Yes, do not allow yourself to be saddled with guilt. There are things we all wish we can redo, but simple logic dictates that that is impossible, thus we have to move on and learn from the experience.

    The amazing thing is that grace abounds much more than guilt. Rejoice in the grace you have received!

  7. Guilt is a tough one. I felt a lot of it when I decided I couldn't take care of my mom, but she quickly deteriorated to the point where I couldn't have done it anyway, so in the end we spared her a huge trauma of moving and all the adjusting. I'm trying to visit all the A-Z Challenge blogs this month.

  8. Carol we definitely cannot lean on our own strenght!

    Linda, many thanks, I would love to write a novel one day, who knows this could be the start of something....

    Alana, would be great to read someone else journey and I do hope that others are helped as I share mine

    Wanda, thanks. Guilt can immobilise us, we have to look past it.

  9. Teuvo Kuvat- Teuvo Images Finland visited this blog. Come and visit my blog . You should also tell your friends to my blog Teuvo Vehkalahti Finland

  10. Paul, thank you, will check it out.

    Jeremy, moving on is a way that you also gain so much understanding.

    Sharkbytes, putting things in perspective often helps us to make those tough decisions.

    Teuvo thank you for your visit.


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