Monday, October 07, 2013

what Alzheimer's teaches us

It has been said that Alzheimer's disease is an illness that makes people lose their dignity. The more I encounter people who suffer from different forms of dementia, the more I wonder... Can dementia make a man lose his dignity? Does aging affect human dignity? Or is it really up to us?

No matter what happens to you, there are always choices. Choices in the way we face difficulty and choices in the ways we help carry each other. Is it alright not to be strong? Is it alright not to know what tomorrow brings? Will we dare to be taken care of? Are we willing to stand with the ones we love, even when they need special attention?

If you're willing to see it, Alzheimer's can teach you the beauty of living in the moment. Creating the right, peaceful atmosphere between us and living for this moment's laughter or tear.
This is not popular in the culture I live in. This is different for us, even weird. To live in the moment, not speedy and busy, planning what's next. To let go, instead of independently standing strong, with everything under control at all times.

Without a doubt, Alzheimer's is a horrible disease and no one welcomes such a diagnosis. Health and illness are important factors in how we feel about ourselves. Still, I tend to think human dignity is not so much in ourselves. It is what we give to each other.

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