2 comments on “Off the Map

  1. “Nothing can prepare you for such a loss and no-one else can tell you how to survive it.” Wise words. I think when other people want you to ‘get over it’ it’s because it’s difficult for them, not you. And the truth is that no one can tell you how to deal with anything; it’s always an individual journey. I’ve been reading Hesse’s Siddhartha to a friend who has dementia and slowly having everything taken from him – his ability to talk, walk, feed himself – while remaining fully aware. Other people are now making decisions for him about everything – where he goes, who he sees. He was (and is) a very talented and successful writer and intellectual, and being unable to express himself is torture to him. As I read, I see him listening intently to each sentence and I listen too, and what I get is the wisdom of Siddhartha’s insistence on his own journey and his own discoveries. As a parent it’s a good lesson too – to realise we can’t tell our children how to deal with their problems, just let them know that it’s okay to listen to themselves and trust their own process, that they know best what they want and need. And following your blog has been permission for me to do that too, and also reminds me that someone needs to be listening to my friend, acknowledging how he feels, and affirming that whatever he feels is okay, however inconvenient, as his carers, though wonderful, are often too busy with practical matters to do this. So thank you, Geoff.

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