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.
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