Are you the Spiritual Caretaker of yourself
or do you leave it to someone else?
Curious that I asked?
There’s a reason that I do. When a person becomes diagnosed with an illness like Alzheimer’s, Cancer, Diabetes, or Rheumatoid Arthritis, the first question one is asked is “who is going to be the primary caretaker for this person?”
I realize that many people don’t ever ask themselves this very important question, but I’m asking it because I wonder just how many people are spiritually prepared to take care of themselves, let a one additional people.
Recently, my husband was diagnosed with mid-level Alzheimer’s. It wasn’t a total shocker because both his mother and her sister died from Alzheimer’s. It was a question of when the disease would take over.
We’re waiting for a MRI to clarify the situation and let us know at what stage he really is in and what type of care taking my husband will need.
We know that his spirituality is taken care of. That’s one thing we don’t have to worry about or decide how to handle, although depending on the speed of Alzheimer’s I might have to become his care taker.
How does one become a care taker for someone’s else spirituality?
To begin, you treat that person with the same amount of respect and dignity that you formerly did. He or she is the same person. Their personality has changed because their brain is under attack so they will act differently on the outside.
In the inside, they will remain the same because their goodness, their gentleness, their compassion and understanding remains the same. It doesn’t go anywhere. It doesn’t evaporate into thin air. Their spirituality is still there.
Their caretaker however must reach out and inside this person and treat them with the same compassion and gentleness that one always uses when dealing with a person’s spirituality. That need, that understanding doesn’t go away or dissolve.
It’s right there in front of you, only you must dig deeper to find it and encourage that person to keep digging as well.
Spirituality is part of that person whether they’ve got Alzheimer’s, Arthritis, or Cancer. The inner space that their soul is housed is never lost. It’s still there. It still maintains its residence. Only the people have changed.
It’s the job of the care taker to make sure that their beloved never loses that spark or light that dwells within them. All is not darkness. Even when they stop recognizing you, their home, or lack of interest in the world around them, their spirituality still exists and must be nurtured as best as possible.
My husband’s mother had Alzheimer’s. It didn’t prevent his Dad from visiting his wife every day of the week and remain at the nursing home 10 hours a day. Within two months of her death, her husband followed.
I would like to believe that even though she lost her identity and her body to Alzheimer’s she still housed her spirituality and that kept her alive from within.
When her husband died, they reunited spiritually and continued their journey together.
That’s what I believe. I like to believe the same thing will eventually happen with my husband and myself. Although I love him dearly, I don’t intend to follow after him. He knows that. I also know that men deteriorate faster than women. Even though that may happen, his spiritual health is important for me to keep nurturing so that he may live a quality life, inner and outer, until he passes.
Until next time…