This past Sunday, I found myself immersed in a moment of time, visiting my grandmother who is navigating the challenging terrain of dementia. Her once-vibrant mind now struggles to recall my name, but when she sees me, I am still her baby. Three years ago, as her dementia progressed, I grappled with emotions that I later identified as grief – a realization that I was mourning someone who, though physically present, was slipping away.
I vividly recall attending a ketamine training session where an experiential opportunity allowed me to sit with the profound impact of this journey. Initially not intending to grieve my grandmother, I soon realized the session offered me more than anticipated. It marked the genesis of my evolving relationship with death and grief. Death, an enigma that had always stirred a spectrum of emotions within me, suddenly became a canvas where I could actively shape my response, particularly concerning my only remaining grandparent.
In that transformative ketamine experience, I made a conscious decision to redefine how I experienced grief with my grandmother. Despite the inevitable of her borrowed time due to dementia, I committed to showering her with love and ensuring she felt cared for. So, when I visited her this past Sunday, witnessing her in a state that tugged at my heart, I remained steadfast in fulfilling my promise to her.
This journey with my grandmother also prompted contemplation about my own impermanence. The stark reality that I, too, will one day become an ancestor resonated deeply. It dawned on me that the present is the canvas upon which I paint the narrative of how I will be remembered and the invaluable mark I wish to leave on this world.
In a thought-provoking read, I once came across the notion that we aren’t truly human if we aren’t grieving. It struck a chord with me, emphasizing the profound connection between our humanity and the intricate dance with grief. My experiences with my grandmother have become a catalyst for embracing impermanence to some degree, not as a source of despair, but as a call to consciously shape the legacy I leave behind.
As I continue this journey with my grandmother, navigating the complexities of her dementia, I find solace in the opportunity to redefine grief, celebrate love, and reflect on the transient nature of life. In doing so, I am not merely a spectator to the passage of time but an active participant in shaping the narrative of my own impermanence.