I’ve always loved standing on the lee* side of things. Sometimes when I stand in the yard while my dog is playing, I will huddle up on the lee side of the storage shed and feel the security of the windbreak. The swirling eddies of cold air that can’t reach me, cause me to feel like I am in a safe harbor against the biting winds of winter. In the same way, I’ve always loved sitting in my car during storms. Hard rainstorms with the pelting of heavy droplets pinging on the roof above, while I stay warm and dry and protected.
There is however, no protection from a shit storm. There is no lee side, no solace from the torrential downpour of grief. There is only exposure, either during its occurrence, or later, after denying its existence. I recognize that denial is the first of the five stages of grief, but surely it is one of the shortest lived as a caregiver for a loved one with Alzheimer’s. The starkness of the reality becomes so “in your face” apparent, that the journey from denial to anger is rather short. And again, there is no lee side, no safe harbor, no standing outside of the cold and biting wind of this new reality that has seized the totality of your life.
And so begins one of the most remarkable journeys of our life. The likeliest of questions, “why me?” or in my case, “why Linda, the 51 year old love of my life?” will inevitably be asked. And naturally, there is a period of time during which it is useful to ask the question “why me?” “Why her?” But those are questions that clearly outlivetheir usefulness. At some point, it becomes significantly more valuable to ask questions for which the answers can be of greater service to our journey. Asking unanswerable questions is an exercise in futility. Perhaps simply, the question “why her?”would be of greater service by morphing into the question “what now?”or“how do I make the best of a tragic set of circumstances?”.
If indeed there is a lee side for protection to a storm of this magnitude and duration, it can be found by asking the right questions. Those questions that will lead us on a journey where our inner resources can provide us with the courage, wisdom and guidance to persevere.
After all, while it is a howling 30 degrees outside in the winter, it is always a toasty 98.6 degrees inside. So why not turn within to contemplate those questions that will better serve us and our well-being?
I have been a chiropractor since 1981 in Ridgefield, Connecticut. My passion is caring for my patients, educating people on the principles of health, reading, writing, going to the movies, and traveling, on my Harley whenever possible.