Sometimes living in the now is made difficult by not being able to remember our past, or our future plans. Although the positive psychology movement and motivators may say ‘make the best of what you have’, which is a great mantra and I aspire to all the time, it isn’t always easy to live with not being able to recall ones own life.
Last night I cried about the fact my dear husband spends most television time watching the same program, or watching a program that is so lame because I can no longer bare too much high excitement or drama because I can’t keep up with the stories, nor bear anything too traumatic due to the nightmares that follow. He says not to worry, but that is not such an easy task.
One of the blogs I follow posted a beautiful blog today titled We Find Ourselves…Remembering. Head over there to read the poem which is truly beautiful. The words that follow the poem say this; “Memories become part of our life each day. We think of our loved one and see them in the moments in each day. We remember a sunset shared; a walk together in the morning sunrise; sitting, no words spoken, listening to the quiet of the evening. In the shadows…in the light of day…just around any corner or behind the ring of a phone, we find ourselves remembering.” They have made me think once again about the impact on the person with dementia and their loved ones, of not remembering.
Even though I still live my life to the max, there is an intense sadness and loneliness in not remembering one’s own world, and a feeling of inward or reverse isolation. Not the kind brought on by the loss of some friends, colleagues or family after diagnosis, or the kind brought on by something like no longer being able to drive, but one of not being a part of one’s own world. It feels like a very weird phenomena, perhaps like being in a crowd and knowing no-one, not even yourself. The thought of looking in a mirror and not recognising my own face is actually hideous, but maybe not as awful as the thought of not remembering my husband, children or very close family and friends, especially because of the impact on them.
Then again, perhaps for people living with dementia, not remembering could be seen as the ultimate ‘Living in the now’? Definitely something to think about!!!