Holding on and Fading Away

Astronaut-EVA“One good thing about Alzheimer’s, you meet new people every day.” Unknown

It’s ironic. As a loved one slips deeper and deeper into the dark pit of Alzheimer’s, my own memories are sharpening. As a hypnotist who specializes in past life regression, I’ve facilitated countless clients in many hypnosis sessions, but have also spent hours in trance myself. Recalling previous lifetimes in ancient eras seems to clear the clutter and open the pathways through one’s memory bank.

In my 20s, I was known for having a poor memory. It was a great relief when an adviser finally told me, “Poor memory is not an indication of low intelligence.” Regardless, to fix the problem, I started taking an herb called Gotu Kola. This helped enormously but I probably overdosed on the stuff because I took it regularly for 20 years.

Be careful with herbal remedies. It’s important to know exactly how long you’re supposed to use them for and if there’s any contraindications. Hypnosis is an alternative way to improve your memory, without any negative side effects.
The memories that stick in our dear one’s mind are the ones that hold the greatest emotion. It’s the same for all of us. If you want to remember something, find a reason to care deeply about it. For those who’ve lost loved ones, or been dumped by someone they were madly in love with, memories can feel more like a curse than a blessing. As an energy healer, I’ve come to understand that the memory loss from Alzheimer’s can sometimes be a blessing. As memories fade, the emotional pain of life’s pitfalls and traumas fade with it. There are lessons to be learned with every illness.

It’s been painful watching this wonderful woman’s memories fade away. She’s forgotten important moments in her life, and in ours. It’s been heart-breaking to watch when she couldn’t remember people who were once close friends. I’ve seen them try to hide the sadness.

She told me tonight that a man she’d never met before took her out for the afternoon. She said they enjoyed a lovely time chatting at the coffee shop and then walking on the beach. She hoped he would visit her again soon. She said, “I didn’t even know him, but he was very nice. Wasn’t that a surprize?” She’d forgotten that this man was a friend of hers and someone she knew very well, before the Alzheimer’s took hold.

Every week, I’m grateful for small blessings. As Alzheimer’s steals away her memories and her world gets smaller, she remains friendly and generally upbeat. I’m grateful for that and the fact that she can still compensate for her memory loss with happy chit-chat. It’s wonderful that she still knows how to laugh and have fun.

She regularly calls to say that she’s horribly bored and shouldn’t be at the senior’s residence. When I remind her that she was out with friends and family every day this week, she perks up and says, “Well, you’ll just have to remind me of these things because I forget. My memory is poor you know. It must have been the celiac or that bump on the head when I went swimming twenty years ago. I was born on an island you know. There weren’t a lot of people and things around so we didn’t have a lot that we needed to remember!”

These days, I take fewer things for granted. I feel enormous gratitude for each sparkling gem of lightheartedness and humour. My sympathies go out to all who are coping with Alzheimer’s. We’re holding on as our loved ones fade away.

Elizabeth Rose