Nimisha has written this amazing blog. Her father recently passed after a four-year battle with early on-set Alzheimer’s disease. Throughout his illness, Nimisha found writing blogs helpful to make sense of his illness, capturing how her family dealt with every challenge and trying to look for the silver linings. Nimisha has travelled to the Houses of Parliament with her story, and uses her blogs as a platform to engage with a larger community, particularly the South Asian community, where there are stigmas attached to unseen illnesses such as dementia.
Life is made up of moments, small and large. There are moments of breath-taking beauty and then moments of heart-breaking sadness. Each moment begins to come together, creating a plethora of memories, memories which shape and define our very existence. But there are also those moments which the change the very course of life itself. Dad’s passing is one of those moments. I’m very aware that I’m teetering on the edge of remaking of life as I knew it. There’s two parts to life, before and after grief.
A father’s protection
Before Dad became ill, I thought he was invincible. He was never ill, not even a headache. Having Dad around was my go-to safe space, I honestly felt that no matter what happened around me, Dad could resolve everything. You feel no harm can come your way.
There was one thing that Alzheimer’s couldn’t ever steal from us and that was the power of love
Even when Dad was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, for as long as he could, he continued to protect us. I felt safe and loved in his presence, even when the illness eventually stole his speech. There was one thing that Alzheimer’s couldn’t ever steal from us and that was the power of love.
As Dad’s health deteriorated, I grew anxious and scared in my grief. When life began to get all too real, I honestly felt that I couldn’t live without Dad. Because, that’s all we knew, the power of his love. These are those heart-breaking moments of life. I really don’t believe that ‘things happen for a reason’. I feel life is a series of random moments. There’s no logic or method, life just happens and sometimes it’s ******* hard.
The power of resilience
The beauty of life however, comes from the power of human resilience. We adapt, even in the most difficult of times. Where I once couldn’t see life beyond Dad, here I am, slowly picking up the pieces and learning to live again. I’ve found victories in the smallest of moments, like driving on my own. Right now, being alone pushes my anxiety to breaking point and I’m usually a mess by the time I reach the destination. But after a few moments, I’m able to celebrate this personal victory of mine.
I wake up every day with the grief bearing heavy on my heart and mind but as the day passes, I start to appreciate and celebrate the small wins.
And so, life goes on. And we move forward, with the hope of tomorrow in our eyes and the love of yesterday in our hearts.
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