“As a counselor, we are trained to sit with people through the process of grieving, dying, death and more. For 30 years, I’ve been doing this work, and I thought I’d be prepared for my parents as they age, and then leave this planet.
But I’m finding it’s so much harder to do it with your own mom, then it is to do it with the clients.
For anyone who has a parent who has suffered from dementia or is currently suffering from it, you know the absolute emotional roller coaster that you go through, when they lose connection and groundedness to the present life, and they’ll go into agitation, anxiety, fear and more.
It’s a brutal disease, and I don’t have answers from a medical perspective, but I do want to share what myself, my brother and my sister are going through and what we’re trying to do.
In my trainings with Buddhism, and other eastern philosophies, I understand the concept of flow, being like a river going around a Boulder instead of trying to crush it or crash or crack it in half.
And I am attempting, sometimes successfully but nowhere near always, to feel the pain, to let the tears flow, and then to try to create some structure in my day so I don’t become consumed by the concept of dying and death.
The pandemic is creating hell for so many people in my mom's situation, as they cannot get into the nursing homes or care facilities to let their mom or dad know they are loved!!!!
Beg these places to at least have a nurse face time you, your loved one may not know where the voice is coming from, but they will feel your love.
I was fortunate that my brother was able to get into the hospital, and FaceTime my mother and I yesterday, and I was able to tell her everything in the world she meant to me, and that she was going to go home to God, and that we would take care of dad Her Husband because she raised three kids in a house filled with faith.
I’m going to share what I said to my mom, in the hopes that you may be prepared to follow the pathway, if you’re comfortable with the approach that I’m taking to death and dying of my own mother.
I’ve been very blessed with teachers in life, and round 1985 the late Ram Dass became a complete inspiration to me, as he was discussing his professional role of helping people to peacefully pass from this life to the next one.
From his work, to Elizabeth Kubler Ross, and so many other experts in the field of death and dying, I know how important it is to allow, in this case my mother, to know that she is free to go home to God.
You may not get a chance with your mom or dad, to tell them what you’re going to read that I said to my mother below, and if you don’t have the opportunity to talk to them, please do this in a letter, write it all out, and hold onto it.
Share this with your friends and family, or keep it private for you, it’s a way to come to closure, not perfect closure, but it’s a way to come to closure when you’re so deep in grief like I am and my whole family is right now, as my mom battles one of the nastiest diseases in the world, dementia.
Because I live in a different state, and because at any time people suffering from dementia can go from the brink of death to rebounding, I’ve been holding off on going home but I did want to talk to my mom, and I wanted to let her know that everything would be OK.
Here is what I shared with my mother, via FaceTime, in which she was somewhat coherent, because she would nod her head or make little noises after I made each of the following statements:
“Mom I love you more than anything! You have been the best mother that any child could’ve ever imagined, it’s because of you and your deep faith in God that I became a minister... Mom , I chose your birthday as my sobriety date years ago, because I wanted you to know how important you are to me, and How important sobriety is... You taught me how to love animals, so much so that all of your children have dogs that we love so much... You taught me to love nature, to feed rabbits and squirrels and birds in the backyard which I still do today because you showed me the way... I say prayers every day for people, because I remember you and dad had a massive prayer list at the dinner table, and I have followed your advice since I was a kid...... mom I want you to know that if you’re tired, and you’d like to go home to God, that this is a perfect time to let go because God and Jesus could not have picked a better woman in the world to be the example of true Christianity than you mom... And please mom don’t worry about dad, me and Terry and Marydiane will take really good care of him OK?... Mom I love you so much and this is so hard but so much of what I’m telling you is the joy that I have when I call you my Mom.”
I’m sure there was a few other things I said that I can’t remember right now but I’m giving this information because it is so important when someone is suffering that they be given permission to let go, and go home to God.
Over the years working with clients who had moms and dads in a similar position to my mom right now, I would always tell them how important it is especially to tell their mother who is on the brink of passing over, that her husband would be taken care of because women have this incredible mama bear attitude about their husband and their children that they feel they need to stay here for them.
And yet, I don’t believe in prolonging life via suffering, as being valiant. I would rather have anyone’s mom or dad including mine, to let go of the struggle, to release their own internal pain, and to let go and flow back to God.
As I write this, I’m not telling you that you must follow this pattern of thought that I’ve created, but there are things written in this article that you might consider doing in order to alleviate some of your own sadness, grief and pain.
Through all these years of work and counseling I thought I’d be ready for my mom and dad to go through the suffering they’re going through right now... But I found a couple weeks ago when I saw the seriousness of it, that I was not prepared at all.
And it’s OK, I can admit that, and since that moment I’ve been doing everything I can to flow back and forth from hope, to prayer, to grace, to fear of losing my mom, unbelievable sadness of losing my mom and more.
I have sat on the hospital bed of clients in the past that were dying, holding their hands, and telling them some more things that I told my mom.
And every time, it has worked, relieving the suffering of the patient or client and the suffering and grieving of their family and friends.
If I can help you, in the transition process, please reach out to me at www.davidessel.com “ David Essel‘s work is highly endorsed by individuals like the late Wayne Dyer, and celebrity Jenny
Mccarthy says “David Essel is the new leader of the positive thinking movement.“
His work as a counselor and minister has been verified by organizations like Psychology Today and Marriage.com has verified David as one of the top counselors and relationship experts in the world.
For any help at all, reach out to David at https://www.davidessel.com
David shares the struggle his mom is going through with dementia and opens his heart in a powerful and raw way on his Unity Radio show.
Listen now: https://www.unityonlineradio.org/david-essel-alive/dementia-debilitating-disease
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