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Grief asks for no explanations…


Because there are people who care, because there is enough support, because each visit I see her diminish, slowly curling up in spite of best efforts and the gleam in her eye, because of all this my heart aches, and unexpectedly I heave with grief as I unbirth Mom.

Grief asks for no explanations. I try to trust my body in a world where I hardly see the unbeauty of letting go.

Is Alzheimer’s disease our Master teacher of letting go?


  1. Sharie says:

    Thank you Cynthia for your blessed articulation about grief and support. As I witness your “letting go” process, I realize that I assumed I would get the chance for a more gentle goodbye process with my mom. But your words “unexpectedly heaving with grief” describe exactly my reaction to the unexpected news of my mother’s passing. There seems to be something excruciating on a deep body level that occurs in the face of letting go of those who gave us life.

  2. T’is a hard thing for a body to do. No wonder humans have developed so many ways to let go. Aboriginal folk in Australia sometimes stop saying the name of the deceased altogether. Talk about get on, get off, and get over it!

  3. Jill Crawford says:

    With my mother I experienced all of the emotions described above, but I also learned to live beside the person she was becoming. In some ways our relationship was easier. She taught me to live in the moment, to accept her reality wholeheartedly. As I result, I now take regular church services in two nursing homes and a hospital, able to live beside their reality and bring them a message of love and acceptance. I thank God that I accepted the learning, and am thankful to my mum.

  4. Carol Kassner says:

    Cynthia, Alzheimer’s is a master teacher of letting go in a painful sort of way with grieving along the way – for me, mostly early. If you haven’t read, Ten Thousand Joys, Ten Thousand Sorrows, I cannot recommend it highly enough. It is the best book on walking with Alzheimer’s I’ve ever read.
    May it be a blessing to you. May this walk with your mother bless both of you and your family each step of the way. Carol

  5. Kalei says:

    Funny you should post this. I just reconnected a few weeks ago with my mother who had altzeimers disease. She passed away 2 weeks after she and I reconnected after 15 years of minimal interaction. My comment a few weeks ago was how dementia really could be a teacher to us all because in its own way it really does remove the barriers the person has…I watched my mother shift easily and seamlessly from one level of awareness to another. A challenge for me as an observer and yet somehow a blessing to be able to observe as well.

    Sending blessings to you,

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