Dear Family,

Dear Family,

I will always remember the first day that I met you all. It was in August sometime ago, my husband had been admitted to the nursing facility. I was one reckless nerve. I was filled with grief, anger, guilt, and denial. I was completely lost to this world; couldn’t sleep, couldn’t read, couldn’t eat, couldn’t listen, couldn’t crochet- I had stopped living. My nerves were shot and I was so angry with him for getting Alzheimer’s. I scolded him; I started arguments; I wanted him to be the man that I knew, not this stranger.

The doctors said I was a “live, grieving widow”, and that didn’t make any sense either. The pain in my heart and soul were unbearable. What to do? God help me please. I really didn’t want to, but the social worker at the facility suggested I attend an Alzheimer’s support group meeting. Bewildered, I entered the meeting room full of strangers and some one asked me my name. I told them and then proceeded to throw myself across one of the tables. I cried my heart out, sobbing, emptying my very soul. Gentle hands rubbed my back, gentle arms hugged me, gentle voices spoke compassion to me – I was no longer lost. My vision was of a swimming pool filled with people waiting for me to jump into their arms as they caught me and held me with love.

My vision was all of you dear, dear friends who saved me with your listening ears and your love. Attend the monthly meeting and keep up with your strong support group. You never know when some suffering soul may fall into your loving arms. You are all very dear to me.

Have you attended an Alzheimer’s Family Support Group or Covenant Hospice Bereavement Group? What has your group meant to you?

(Alzheimer’s caregivers letter to her support group members following the death of her husband who battled Alzheimer’s for several years. )

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