In my Soul Journey I asked my soul in a meditation: ‘What do you want?’ she replied clearly and simply: ‘To alleviate suffering’. ‘Is this what I must do then?’ ‘Yes’.
Following that road, I worked on and off for 3 years as a live-in carer with widows, mainly women with dementia and end of life.
I often used music, art, colouring, Nature and Reiki with my dementia clients. Music was particularly effective. Music can connect people with parts of the brain, emotion and memory, that nothing else can. Also makes people happier and calmer, gives a story line, a continuity which is so important in the fragmented landscapes of Alzheimer's. Music connects people with the most inner part of themselves, allowing for a sense of self that otherwise would be lost. The key for this is to find 'personal music' that was relevant for each person in the past. It's not unusual that people can't remember if they just had a cup of tea, but remember the entire lyrics of songs from the 50's or 60's.
After I helped Sheila gently crossing to the other side, I felt compelled to make a little book with photos, notes on dementia, my work of care and compassion, and also our dialogues in the weeks before she died. I called the book 'A path of compassion'. This was my way to honour her life, the care work and our journey together.
"I don't know where I am
because I am where I am
because I am" (Sheila, 2017)
I can design a memory book for you and your beloved with Alzheimer's / someone who passed. It is a beautiful way to remember, honour and share a life story.
I can also offer information sessions for family members on understanding dementia, how to plan for care and practical advice for day to day life, communication and how to deal with challenging emotions. Please contact me
See below: The Art of grief and Care for Caregivers
"Death is a mystery, and people who are dying are turning toward mystery, and mystery is this unknowable territory, the land of unanswerable questions. To be a good companion, I have to be comfortable in that territory of mystery as well, and that doesn’t mean that I have all the answers. It means that I’m willing to stay in the room when the going gets tough. That I don’t turn away from the unknown, that I enter with a quality of curiosity and wonder."
CARE FOR CARERS
I would like to offer group or individual sessions for professional carers or anyone caring for a family member. Using meditation, art, self-massage, journaling and mindfulness exercises, we will relax and create space for the caregiver. We will also look into the difficulties, demands and blessings of caring for someone who is ill or dying.
The work can be draining and overwhelming, and might cause many health and emotional issues for the caregiver (e.g. depression, sleeping issues, adrenal fatigue, physical pain, trauma).
This is a space for self-protection, to recharge one's energy and learn practical skills to deal with exhaustion, strong emotions, responsibility, boundaries, how to manage stress and create space for the caregiver.
Due to the isolation and tiredness sometimes is difficult for the carer to reach out. The journey can be long and to feel seen and supported is important.
THE ART OF GRIEF
In our culture Death is often a difficult subject to talk about, however we all experienced the loss of a loved one or might have been a companion to help someone passing. And we will die one day. How can we die well?
The fear of Death or the loneliness after losing someone close can be very painful. In this group or individual sessions we will explore death and grieving through Art.
I will guide and support the group / individuals, while sharing personal experiences, relevant films / books excerpts or Art pieces to explore the energy of Death. I will also bring some inspiration and perspective, through traditions and rituals from other cultures to help us understand this natural transition of the Life cycles.
Participants will have the opportunity to do short meditations and creative exercises to reflect on life and death and help cope with loss and grief.
The Art of grieving aims to bring healing by sharing our stories in an authentic and supported way; we will honour our deep emotions with care and compassion and we will embrace our beloved ones through music, film, photography, poetry and storytelling or even create a memory book for a loved one.
The programs can be tailored to suit a group / place
If interested please Contact