A month ago I had an incredible experience. I did not see it coming at all. How it happened was my mum asked me to join her on her weekly visit to see her sister in a dementia unit at a rest home. I had not been nor seen her since she had been admitted nearly two years ago. I was a little anxious having heard stories about the place from my mum and dad. And yes these stories rang very true as I entered the facility. Yep the place stunk like urine. Yep the residents walked around with dolls in carriers on their chests. Yep they all sat on chairs with not much life in them. It was not an uplifting place to be at all. It really hammered home how vulnerable we all are in this state and so reliant on the goodwill of others to speak up for us and stand up for our human rights.
Anyway we chatted to my aunty who was happy to see us but didn’t know who we were. She sang a song perfectly that was playing on the television, note for note, in tune and very joyfully. But then couldn’t recall any other song while we were there.
Some background information without disrespecting my family is my aunty has been estranged from her brother my entire life. I have never known them to be in the same room. I have no idea what happened but this is just the way it was. At our visit my mum shared with her that their brother was very unwell with a bad heart at the moment. In an instant I saw in my aunty’s eyes a connection with something inside herself and tears began rolling down her aged cheeks. She clutched her chest with both hands as if she was in pain. My mum and I were both caught by surprise by her response to this news. Mum asked if she was okay and she said, "It hurts. It really hurts." while holding her heart in her chest. The moment was very emotional and I could not hold the tears back either. I had never seen this side to my aunty in 39 years. I was blown away that even though she wouldn’t have been able to name or recognize her brother, the connection to him was deep within her. And now with severe dementia, all the stories and the hurt and the beliefs about her past had vanished and all that was left was love. I could see she really felt for him and her heart hurt for him.
I was so grateful to witness this moment. It really solidified for me that we need to make every moment matter and we need to make love the center of all of our experiences. Our reality is our awareness in each moment, not the stories from the past or our worries for the future. We need to release our own suffering and just surrender to love. Relinquish your tight grip on what was said, what was done, your tight grip on needing to be right or in control. Go beyond these stories and and become a pillar of forgiveness, healing and letting go. And turn to love as this is all there is.