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Sue, Volunteer Mentor (@sueinmn)

Life is an Adventure - How to keep it up with Covid-19?

Aging Well | Last Active: Jun 5, 2020 | Replies (24)

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@IndianaScott

Good morning @sueinmn You bring up an interesting aspect of our new world. These times can certainly be frustrating!

While everyone is different and how we react to change is unique to each of us I've chosen a different way of looking at this.

First, having lost my wife recently and yesterday losing a longtime friend, I look at our current societal changes as temporary and mostly an inconvenience.

Likewise, since my wife died I bristle when people talk to me about 'getting back to normal' or asking ' how do you like your new normal'. Again, just how I look at life, but I believe if we spend time looking at what was normal or looking to get back to normal, we are spending our time and energy on looking back — not forward in life. Trying to recapture what was, not looking to what is or will be. Significant changes in our lives do exactly that — change our lives. I look at my life now as different and that makes it a new unknown. Just as I look at these times as different and not looking back. Sure I miss doing some things, but at the same time I have found far more than what I may have missed. I've spoken to more friends of old, relaxed, completed more long delayed projects, written more letters, read, etc. than ever before.

It's different, but to me different can be very good ­čÖé

Strength, courage, and peace

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Replies to "Good morning @sueinmn You bring up an interesting aspect of our new world. These times can..."

@IndianaScott My sincere condolences on losing a long time friend. It's my understanding there have been limited to no options available when it comes to memorial services or funerals. That makes the sadness even more palpable. Would you care to share something about your friend?
Ginger

@IndianaScott, What a lovely post, Scott. My heartfelt condolences for your most recent losses of both your wife and longtime friend. How remarkable and courageous of you to post such a wonderfully meaningful and upward looking post in the midst of such fresh grief.

Without a doubt, both of these most important people in your life would have heartily agreed that they were indeed most fortunate to have had your kind and optimistic spirit in their daily lives.

Members here can only be inspired and grateful for this post and your many other supportive, encouraging messages. If you can view these uncertain times as an adventure with new possibilities going forward, surely the rest of us can latch onto some of your optimism and bravery as we count our blessings each day. Sincerely, Alice

@IndianaScott, What a lovely post, Scott. My heartfelt condolences for your most recent losses of both your wife and longtime friend. How remarkable and courageous of you to post such a wonderfully meaningful and upward looking post in the midst of such fresh grief.

Without a doubt, both of these most important people in your life would have heartily agreed that they were indeed most fortunate to have had your kind, caring and optimistic spirit in their daily lives.

Like you, I heartily resent others talking about "back to normal" or the "new normal". There is nothing "normal" about these times for many of us, especially caregivers or those facing the terminal illnesses on those we love.

The double whammy of the pandemic arriving simultaneously with facing the end of life for my best friend is cruelly overwhelming for me at times. As the primary caregiver for years of both my mom and only sister and for a shorter period for my nephew, I was alone in making medical, home health, legal and quality of care decisions. I thought I'd experienced the full range of emotions every caregiver knows and experiences at one time or another. However, during those years, I was able to be physically there and actively present with them. Now with my closest friend of decades I cannot be there for her.

Until her most recent release from hospital, I'd been able to actively participate by preparing meals for her and interacting with her medical team and others at her and her guy's request.

Her last recent hospitalization dismissal and diagnosis that the cancer had become much more aggressive coincided with the Covid-19 outbreak. My pulmonologist told me in no uncertain terms, unless you self-isolate, contacting the virus will more than likely prove fatal for you. While that certainly got my attention, it also meant that I cannot see or physically spend time with my friend and her wonderful guy.

My friend had begun signs of dementia prior to her earlier stage 4 metastatic breast cancer diagnosis. Now, she has great difficulty completing a sentence and that adds such frustration for her. We try to "guess" what she wants to convey but sometimes/often we miss the mark which adds to her stress.

However and although she's been told of her advanced cancer, her memory loss has been merciful in the respect that she cannot remember or realize from day-to-day how critically ill she is. We communicate daily and I work to recall the wacky, funloving, mischief making, comical times we've shared. She chuckles and can recall them at the moment. I remind her of the many times she went far beyond the usual friend factor in her support and encouragement of me at critical/crisis times in my life. I have great difficulty grasping the reality that a time will come when I can no longer hear her precious voice, her laughter. I am thankful for what we do have but oh, I so wish I could do more.

Scott, Members here can only be inspired and grateful for what you posted above and your many other supportive, encouraging messages. If you can view these uncertain times as an adventure with new possibilities going forward, surely the rest of us can latch onto some of your optimism and bravery as we count our blessings each day. Sincerely, Alice