Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Helping a Friend

I have made a new Facebook friend by the name of Faith who was diagnosed with Young Onset Alzheimer's and in trying to live her life as well as possible, is single - without a life partner to support her through the journey she is traveling.

I want to imagine and assume that she is doing well, coping, and while sad and lonely at times, knows that so many of her Facebook and life friends are there for her.

She is a great advocate for living life to its fullest without the need of grief, pity, or needing to be a "social worker" to others when if fact she is the one who is dealing with Dementia/ Alzheimer's, and doing it well on her own! (My words but "Fuck, whose disease is this anyway?"

Faith is putting together in writing her end of life wishes. She wants to spell out how she wants to live her live and be treated as she slowly is not able to tell others what her needs are. That is the insidious nature of Dementia/ Alzheimer's, for the person diagnosed and trying to live as well as possible and for others who will end up having to make decisions on behalf of that person.

On Facebook she asked for help in this complex task and I offered to send her all of the paperwork which Gregory and I have used for ourselves in thinking about End of Life Directives. Ironically I have been currently getting this in order again after having met with our lawyer and researched the subject and thinking about changes in our paperwork since Gregory died (not three months ago.)

Here are some interesting "backs and forths" that have taken place between Faith and me:

Hi Michael, I would very much appreciate that...your offer to send the Care Directive. My email is heart emoticon
I will put them in the e-mail tonight tomorrow my time. Let me know what you think.
Thanks Michael, I will. I really appreciate it. ((Hugs)). smile emoticon
Easy to do for you. ((Kisses)) See if this worked instead of e-mail. Let me know.
Oh thank you, I love the wording and very much appreciate it as it helps me get the wording on mine better. Thank you thank you Michael, you are such a great soul. smile emoticon
These "End of Life" topics are not easy to talk about but Gregory and I always felt empowered when we were able to make our own decisions about how we wanted things to be. For us it was a little more complicated being a same sex couple but for you as a single woman probably a little more difficult! I wish you well and health and to be able to be the best you can be for as long as you choose!
It is definitely nice to be able to have someone to have a back and forth conversation with...I do miss that. I hear you are funneling energy into a second blog, glad to see you are finding ways to re-find yourself. smile emoticon
Just a small correction, I never really lost myself so there is no need to re-find:-) What I am having to do is learn to live post-Alzheimer's. I know how you feel about caregiving and caregiving partners, and mostly I agree, but Gregory's journey with Alzheimer's was mine as well. We were part of a phd study and the person doing the study often said he found it amazing, interesting, and wonderful that even at the height of the complications of the disease's effect on Gregory, we acted and behaved like partners in a couple relationship. We did so until the end so the loss is even stronger. I hope you can fine some solace in knowing that so many of us here in Virtual Caringland send you positive energies and love. Also sending hugs and kisses! P.S. if you haven't already book marked me:


  1. Very Best Wishes to Faith. I doubt I have much to add to what you have shared, Michael, except to suggest that Faith appoints a Power of Attorney for Health Care as well as an Executor for when the PoA and/or guardianship no longer applies. My brother was Trustee for a nephew; he forgot that a trustee's business ends at death and had to ask the church who was to inherit the trust if he might use some of the funds for the burial.

    As far as finding yourself,I think the word is redefine.

    1. Thanks Jean. I shared your comments with Faith. I too was blown away when I found out that my responsibilities to and "decision ownership" of Gregory ended when he died. Luckily most everything was in order with the exception of one small life insurance policy which was payable to "The Estate of..." and will have to go to probate. Believe it will work out fine!

  2. Hi there Michael. I wouldn't mind looking at that paperwork either, if that's ok. I need to redo my own! Hugs. Lynda xx

    1. Send them on Facebook private message and e-mail. Let me know if they come through and if you can open them.


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