Little Griefs

Grief is something I have never fully understood, nor do I care to.  Ten years ago my family started a journey with my father when he was diagnosed with Alzheimers. If there is one thing that sets Alzheimers apart from any other kind of loss I've experienced it's that the disease causes a million little griefs along the way.  There are only a few marked big griefs and those are painful and soul wrenching, but it's the little griefs that I recall most vividly.  Like when dad was no longer able to drive, or when he would forget that I was coming home, or forget that I was leaving, or not remember when I was last home, when he would forget the seasons, and started wearing two pairs of pants at once, or stopped loving his baths.

I guess all of life is always marked by little griefs some just sad, others paradoxically linked to little celebrations.  Like when you realize your baby will never again fit into those newborn clothes, or when you recognize a point in your life where you feel like you grew up a little bit, when you sense some of your idealism has disappeared, when you find out your happiness is really your responsibility not your friends, parents, children, or spouses, and when you understand that losing someone you love is not an isolated incident.
I got a phone call from my mom today that my dad has had a small heart attack.  He's resting comfortably but today is another little grief.  Another day when I more completely understand that this journey will not get easier.  A day when this little grief is added to the others.


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