aging and geriatric issues Articles

Fear and the Overstated 7 Stages of Grief: Taking the Griever Off the Clock

Endings and Leavings | Part 8 of a 9-part series on the deeper Self that awakens in laboring through grief, living through loss, and embracing endings as the seedbed of new beginnings.


Do not go gentle into that good night … rage, rage against the dying of the light. (poet Dylan Thomas)

My wife’s voice, shrouded by muffled sobs, was barely audible on the phone. She did not want our daughter to overhear the shocking news. Not yet.

The staff at Chloe’s school had called just a minute ago: her kindergarten teacher had died suddenly in his home. (From complications related to a seizure, we later learned.)

Chloe’s beloved teacher, Mr. Heaton? Dead? The words rolled like a mudslide down the mind, gathering speed and refusing to stick.

And this was my adult mind. How would our 6-year-old brave her world upending, just as it was beginning? This kid who’d found a hero during her transition to a new city, new house, new school.

The next day, we knew, Chloe would enter that classroom and fall headlong into a void. Mr. Heaton’s energy and his teddy-bear presence would show up in the abyss of his absence. From this, we could not protect her. Except to maybe so...

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Dealing with Age-Diminished Loved Ones: Advice from a Christian Counselor

By Patricia Lyon, MA, LMHCA Seattle Christian Counseling

“I hate my mother and just wish she would die. But I shouldn’t feel like this!” said one of my friends.

You’ve watched your mother decline into dementia. She thinks people are stealing from her and trying to kill her. You might even be the one she accuses. Remember, she is so afraid. Instead of reacting with anger or argument, will you create a moment of joy? Perhaps you could pull out a photo album, or give her a foot massage, or tell her a childhood story. Sometimes diversion is a wonderful cure for the raging brain that people can no longer control.

When Your Parent Regresses into Childhood

Alzheimer’s disease and dementia are heartbreaking to watch. They can be so frustrating to manage, especially when you are a caregiver to someone you love deeply. As you become familiar with how the disease progresses, your paradigm will keep shifting as they regress into childhood. A beloved dad quit showering and was very belligerent. The family agreed that showering was not optional, but no one could figure out what to do about the problem. Finally, one of his daughters had an idea. She took him into the bathroom, turned on the warm shower, got him undressed – and he showered with her help. He had forgotten what it meant to take a shower, and no longer knew how ...

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