Not having a clue what I was about to say to her, I just opened my mouth and was even shocked myself at what came out! “You know, Sandra – Alzheimers is possibly the most merciful thing God can do for some people.” She glared at me and said, “WHAT do you mean?!” At that point, I was really sweating it and wanted to look up to the Lord and say, “Yeah Lord, what exactly DO I mean?!” So I just prayed and kept opening my mouth for the Lord to help this hurting person. “Well, Sandra, think about it – he is RE-LIVING the best time in his life. In his mind, you ARE six years old and running around his legs thanking him for your new baby doll. He is truly happy and in his mind – it’s REALLY happening!” Before she could come across the desk and wop me one across the nose, I continued, “Think about it Sandra, we only get the opportunity to live the good times ONCE… he is living them TWICE! He’s in a state of euphoria, and he’s having the time of his life!”
Suddenly, her demeanor changed from defensive, her facial features went from turmoil to peaceful, and she said “I’ve never thought of it that way. That helps me so much. I’m so glad I talked to you.” I breathed a huge sigh of relief and told her, “I understand that Alzheimers is a horrible disease that robs so many people of their happy memories and depletes their bodies of even basic functions. However, it may help the survivors to understand that most of them really do re-live very happy moments in their minds. I have talked with so many children and care-givers who have lost loved ones to cancers or Alzheimers, etc. Many of them have said the sweetest moments they had during the course of their loved one’s sickness was the times they sat and listened to their loved one ramble on and talk, seemingly without any direction in their thoughts. I listened as one grown daughter talked of how she would cherish the sweet things her mother said as she lay dying of cancer. She said the deepest prayers she had ever heard in her life came from that dying mother. She only wished she could have recorded those golden words. My point to this post is, there can be some good found, even in grief. Grief is a complicated emotional roller coaster, causing its host to laugh one moment and cry bitterly the next. What is important to remember is that, for our own emotional good, we have to look for the goodness in every situation we face.