E-book #LIFEDOESNOTENDAFTERADIAGNOSIS (ENG)

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Written by: Letizia Espanoli
In collaboration with: Elena Mantesso

Categoria:

I learnt that the most important thing to be near to a person living with dementia is our way of being. The life of these people doesn’t rely on reasoning, on cognitive comprehension, on explanations, but it does rely on feelings. The most important gifts we can offer them are our calm, presence, peace and inner serenity besides our kindness.

I learnt that it is important to keep a little spark of disobedience alive in ourselves, one which grants us the courage of rebellious thoughts, one which “ruffles our hair”, which pushes us to look beyond and, why not, to act beyond usual habits; the same disobedience which enables us to foresee a light in the darkness of fear and discouragement…

I learnt that people living with dementia do not need to be constantly stimulated to do some activity. They rather have the desperate need to be appreciated for what is still vibrating in themselves, because no one of us will ever be a hollow shell, an outcast, a leftover or a skill to recover…

I learnt that in the hearts of all of us (patients, relatives, healthcare operators) there are several moments that no one can ever take away from us, neither a Mr. Alzheimer.

I learnt that their feelings are here, now, in every moment. It is our feelings, instead, that we must train every day and that we must shelter from our merciless mind, that wants to comprehend and explain everything.

I learnt that there is a wonder we should all nurture and cultivate, a wonder lighting up our eyes and make it possible for us to see the Beauty around us and inside us. It is up to every healthcare and relationship professional to lower the veil covering this Beauty residing inside each and every one of us. The possibility to exist and to be ourselves pulsates there, deep inside the Beauty. That is it: the quest for -and defense of- the beauty as an antidote to the “assembly line” of healthcare assistance.

I learnt that the very essence of Life resides just in Beauty. It is Beauty that hosts in itself energy, force and dignity. It’s the alchemical product of Wonder and Astonishment, of a soul being able to highlight what we can do and what we can be…

I learnt that Pain can rip open our stomach, that anger consumes us inside, leading us into the labyrinth of: “Why me?”, or “Why him, why her?”.

I learnt that a compassionate look hides the helplessness to carry on, to go beyond. Yet, in this look the greatest school of our life pulsates and flourishes: Pain. And when we can go through pain, it turns into new possibilities. Being a clever student in these lessons creates in every one of us force and awareness, but above all it makes us sure that the disease has not come to take away, to damage, to wound. The disease can be transformed, day by day, into a gaze, a cuddle, into unexpected smiles that can become “stainless memories” for the time of Absence.