It seems to me we sometimes get stuck on things that don’t matter, or aren’t as important as we think they are.
We lose perspective.
I feel joyful when people who I know who have dementia know who I am. But I don’t feel sad when they don’t.
But I see and hear plenty of people who are in a lot of pain because the person they love who has dementia doesn’t recognize them anymore.
I’ve rolled that around in my mind for a long time. I’ve blogged about it before.
I found asking myself questions like these helped; I thought they might be useful for others too:
- Do babies recognize and call by name those who care for them?
- Does the fact that babies do not recognize their parents as individuals cause their parents to love them any less?
- What kinds of things do babies sense from those who care for them?
- Are those things contingent on babies recognizing who cares for them?
- What do I feel when the person I love who has dementia does not recognize me?
- What is at the core of my upset when my loved one with dementia does not recognize me?
- Is recognizing me going to make their life any better?
- Does not recognizing me make their life any worse?
- Do they not recognize other people, or is it just me they don’t recognize?
- Does it matter if they don’t recognize other people?
- How important is it for the people in my life who have dementia for me to “see” them?
- Based on the behaviour of my loved one with dementia when s/he doesn’t recognize me, does not recognizing me or others seem to cause them a great deal of lasting pain and/or suffering?
- How important is it at this stage in my life for her/him to “see” me?
- How important is it for people in general to be seen?
- If it is important for people to be seen, why is it important?
- If I don’t see and love the people who are close to me who have dementia, who will?
- What would happen if I let go of my need for them to recognize me?
- What does love mean to me?
- What does compassion mean to me?
- What is at the core of being human?
Have you asked yourself similar questions? Do you have any you would add to the list? Thoughts? Advice on this issue?
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