Guide Food That Comforts Body and Soul: From a Mothers Heart

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Find something that makes you feel strong and make it your touchstone. Anger and Hatred. Anger builds up and feeds hatred. It can be directed towards self and towards others. Either way, it is toxic. Anger will eat your soul and destroy any nourishment you have provided. It increases anxiety , raises blood pressure, causes headaches, and can impede healthy circulation.

It causes the release of damaging stomach acid and can interfere with breathing.

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Anger can kill you. When angry and hateful feelings start to fill you up, breathe slowly and focus. Access your quiet, peaceful inner soul and push the anger back from the door. Nurture your soul with healthy foods that inspire you and build you up. Avoid those that create ugly feelings inside. By doing this, you will be able to keep your inner garden oasis beautiful and flourishing. It will remain an exquisite and restful place where you can find rejuvenation and achieve inner peace.

When your soul is healthy and strong, your heart will be also. I read the article on food for the soul by Dr Cynthia Thaik and agree that it is important to feed your soul with positive realities like laughter and self love in reducing stress and negative emotions. My approach in the counselling as a Registered Counsellor in South Africa is seeing what the effect of discovering your true identity is on all dimensions, body soul and Spirit.

Mindset is a critical factor as that is where the heart produces love or hate, calmness or stress. In discovering that you are created in a Worth produces the heart and mind realities which has a positive effect on all other dimensions. Cynthia Thaik, M. Learn how to navigate the health care system and Medicare to treat Depression.

Emotional detoxing is just as important as physical detoxing for optimum health. Back Psychology Today. Back Find a Therapist. Back Get Help. Back Magazine. The New Science of Sleep Experts suggest ways to correct the habits that keep us from resting well. Subscribe Issue Archive. Back Today. Waking Up Lost and Confused. The Paradox of Expertise. How We Read a Room. Cynthia M. Thaik M. Follow me on Twitter. Friend me on Faceook. Connect with me on LinkedIn. I wish you all peace in your heart.


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Such a cruel disease, we loose them twice. Thanks for sharing. In my Dad died at home much the same way. I relate well to what you have detailed out. After all this time I still remember the entire experience and how it impacted our family for years before and after. As you state I cried tears during the years he diminished and faded away that losing him was a relief knowing he was no longer stuck inside his shell of a body.

You must experience this disease to truly understand the devastation to the body and brain. I lost my husband to a form of Dementia. I also had friends question how you die from that. He always knew us. I held him in his last breath, son holding his hand. Going through this now with my mom. Your story rang many bells. Right now I can get her engaged by asking her to tell me stories of when she was young, playing music that she loved, and showing her pictures of her grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Yesterday she brought me to tears with just one question. She asked me if she was a good mom. She has always been my role model and hero. All 6 of us became productive people that have our own children that are doing amazing! When she asked me that I wanted to crumple and cry buckets! But what I said to her was not only was she a good mom, but she taught me what it means to be a parent.

And I thanked her. I see the progression this disease is having on her. And it breaks my heart. I thank you so much for your writing about your mother. My prayers are with you and your family. Thank you so much Jasja for telling us about your mother. She no longer speaks or walks she had no idea who I was. She had the same blisters on her feet but she is still alive.

I do not understand why God lets her to continue suffering. Irene, My sweet mother passed away on June 11 of this year. You are not alone in your pain. Prayers to you and your mother. This is so well done. It is so hard to watch this disease rob a person of everything both physically and emotionally. I cried as I read this article.

My husband went in an almost identical pattern. He has a UTI which required hospitalization. During the course of antibiotics he lost his appetite and never regained it. I began to notice he would get strangled when given liquids, so thickening was added. Ice cream was the only thing we could get him to accept. Hospice was called in and he was moved to a nursing home. I spent all my time with him for the last five days of his life, only going home to sleep and returning to my watch.

He was not aware I was there as best as I could tell, but the nurses assured me he could hear me. I used that time to let him know how much he was loved. My pastor came to visit on his last day and told me to give my husband permission to leave, and to assure him I would be all right.


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I did that at about P. I had been singing hymns to him in his last hour. This helps me to know what to expect and to prepare the best I can. I ams so glad your whole family could be there for your mom. Thank you for sharing this journey with your family. We have two loved ones with the disease, my MIL and my Aunt. Your story and the video with Deborah are very educational and eye opening. Thank you for sharing this very, very intimate story. We have been walking the dementia path with my mother since We do everything we can to connect with her and make her feel loved.

Baby calmed her agitation and gives her a purpose. My mother is constantly confused and sometimes nonresponsive, but she still can feel and give Love. Thank you for sharing your story. I know that it will educate and offer peace to so many others that have the opportunity to read it. We should encourage family and friends to visit while the times are good. On a positive note we were Blessed to be at our Mothers side when she passed after a long illness. She was always very conciouncious of our lives, schedules and family time. It seemed as if she waited for my younger Sister to get her Husband off to work and waited for her to Aricept to say her goodbyes before she left us that morning.

Some find it hard to understand that we all felt that it was a beautiful passing but it was. She was surrounded by our Dad married for 52 years to the love of his life and 3 of her Daughters that lived in town. As she left this world we told her to take our love with her and to share it with Grandma, Grandpa and cherished other loved ones. She took her last breath so peacefully and we all knew that she would no longer suffer from Pulmonary Fibrosis and that her next breath would be in Heaven surrounded by her parents her daughter that she lost at the age of 2 and many other loved ones she longed to see again.

Knowing that we all had much peace in the days that followed. Many Prayers to all that are going through or have gone through the loss of their loved ones. God Bless, Lorri. But you know what as long as I know I have done everything I am capable of for my mum. Everyone understands a bit more when they lose there family. Right now, my mom is in her final days, hours, whatever the case may be. I look at her laying in her bed almost lifeless, and am having trouble reconciling the fact that this is the same women who, just a few months ago, seemed full of life.

The disease had progressed but she was up, still walking with help, had lots of laughter. I just pray that God will release her and take her home, but in the meantime, it is comforting that she is unaware of what is happening. It seems very cruel for us though. I am an RN and have cared for many patients with AD over the course of my career. I recently retired to care for my new granddaughter while my daughter works. I have just been diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment. I know that it is very likely that I will go the same way your mother went and it terrifies me. I have seen too much and know too much.

I would trade pretty much any medical diagnosis for this. I would prefer a short bout of cancer, no matter how painful, to the prolonged decline in function and cognition that is AD. I used to ask about the progression of the disease but the nurses, caregivers and Drs were always nice, but evasive. Your description mirrors much of my own experience. My mother woke up one morning and just stopped walking, then a year later she just forgot how to swallow and stopped eating.

The day she died they called me at 6AM and I went to see her and spent the day with her. She was sleeping the entire time and I sat there and talked to her and played her favorite music. It was a nice day, a calm, peaceful transition to death. Thank you for sharing your story — it will help everyone who reads it to understand. Thank you so much for this. I thought i was a monster, that maybe all the years i resented my mother for her neglect -whether it was for work, traveling, etc etc- had made me insensitive to what had happened to her. It still scares me, of course, but when i read that part about saying goodbye becoming easier for the family, it made sense.

I had cried so many times before, i had wondered and angered about how unfair it was, how fast the disease had worked, how young she had fallen to it, and we as a family had been preparing ourselves for this loss for years now. We already had been in the stages of grief, bargaining, depression, anger, and by the time she died, all we had was acceptance and peace. Again, thank you so much for writing this, it made me feel not alone.

It is called anticipatory grief, when caretaking a loved one whose personality and memory is slipping away towards death. And the death feels different than other death. Mom died this afternoon. I have felt resentment also, and wonder now if I was selfish. All of it is understandable in you, and I appreciate your writing so eloquently.. Alzeimers Dementia is in my opinion the worse disease. My mum passed away 24th July 2 weeks after her 91st Birthday.

She suffered Alzheimers Dementia for the last 3 years with a Benign Tumor against her brain apparently growing very slowly. She was in a nursing home for 2 and a half years.

What I Wish I Knew Before My Mother's Alzheimer's Death

I noticed she was not eating or drinking well, not talking much at all. The last week she would only say a word like she was unable to say what she wanted and was crying very depressed. She was also falling asleep on the chair with her left hand shaking really bad. I called the head nurse and they said its the last stages of Dementia. Yes maybe but I need her checked at the hospital. They gave her the intravenous antibiotics plus fluid glucose. She was always sleeping she unconscious when she did open her eyes I would give her a drink with a sipper cup and ice-cream very slowly but I had to do this.

She was so hungry and thirsty my heart melted. She was so strong though. They told us she only had 3 weeks or less she wont get better and no more medication would be given. So every I would go in the morning with my sisters there and I would keep giving her drink and ice cream very slowly when her eyes were open. This was continuous for the last two weeks but doctors still never said when her last day is. The last week at times her cheeks would go cold then her arms then they were warm again.

She was a fighter. Three days before she passed away I gave her a drink with the sipper cup and oh my god she put her hand up slowly to my chin and rubbed it then she did it again and my sister saw this.


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We were shocked did I cry. I felt she knew who I was. My mums last day in this world not that I knew but her face was really pretty looking younger lost heaps of weight. I told my husband to bring my dinner this was at 4. She was breathing heaving that day but I thought she was okay.

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Well at approx 4. It was time for a cigarette, so I said to her as I always did mum I will be back just going for a smoke I will be back. This was the saddest day of my life no matter how old my mum is always my mum. Thank you for sharing your journey. We are reaching this stage with my Mom. Hearing the details of how it may happen makes me feel a bit more prepared. I am so sorry for your loss and grateful for your wish to share what happens with others who have gone or are going through almost exactly the same journey.

It has brought me some comfort to know what is happening. The worst part is the suffering, it is so cruel there is no relief. Our Mother is pleading with us to make it stop and I wish I could. The doctors and nurses only answer us with they are monitoring and responding as things develop.

So thank you again for your words as hard as they were to read. I am so sorry for your loss. This was wonderfully written and obviously difficult to experience and write. My mother is going through this. It is hard on everyone. You helped me understand and I thank you greatly for that.

Thank you so much for sharing your story. I am litterally in tears reading this. Thank you. My condolences on your loss. I, too, can relate to this article and the comments. I thought, I could just remind my mom whom I was, and maybe who she was: an accountant, a golfer, a wife, a mom, a friend, etc. I had no clue about personality changes, illusions, delusions, aggression, fussiness, etc. There are so many things I wish I knew before hand. I think more and more, people are getting a fuller understanding of this dreaded disease.

I think the more we know, the more we can harness our collective knowledge and experience to help others. My wonderful husband died on 10th September this year after a long struggle with Lewy Bodies Dementia. I was his only carer and the rollercoaster of emotions I endured for the past 2 years was unbearable. During that time I knew he was deteriorating, he suffered hallucinations, mobility problems, agitation, anxiety and needed help with all aspects of daily living.

Gradually his mobility declined and he started having falls, he lost a lot of weight during the past year and began to lose interest in his food. We had planned to move in to an assisted living apartment and one suddenly became available. I had to make the decision to move , as I thought that was the best for us both. During the arrangements for the move, I had him attend a day care facility, this was the first time we had been apart in 2 years.

He had a couple of falls there and for some weird reason became very hyper active, walking around a lot and moving things everywhere. He had a bad fall 2 weeks later and went in to a rapid decline. He started sleeping all the time and ate very little. He went in to a Dementia Nursing Home, I thought he would be rehabilitated and come home after a few weeks. Imagine my shock when they told me he was at the end of his life.

The day after he was admitted, they had discovered he was holding food in his mouth and not swallowing, he had become unresponsive by then.

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They decided to withdraw, fluids and food. I ranted and raved and cried, how could they do this to him. They explained he could choke or aspirate. I had to accept their decision. He spent the next 6 days sleeping, but did not need any medication. I had to get my daughter over from California. When I whispered to him that she was coming he smiled. The night before he died, I stayed in a chair beside him all night, he woke at 6 and opened his eyes, his breathing very slow, I stroked his head and said all the things I wanted to say, he died very peacefully.

My grief is unbearable and I miss him so much. But I know his suffering is now over. I just wanted to say thank you, my Mom has dementia and is 92 now, her memory is great both in long term and short term, her fight is with the hallucinations at night due to the Sundowners she has, that troubles her.

I am thankful for your insights and thoughtfulness regarding your Mom, I appreciate the difficulty, and how much it means to me. I am truly sorry for you loss. During the past 4 weeks he has not eaten much and has lost 1st. I take food to the home which I know he likes and sit there trying to encourage him to eat. He is now being given milkshakes to try to build him up. He has arthritis throughout his body and is in lots of pain. I am dreading talking about giving him patches because it will make him drowsy and he wont be able to eat at all. I thank you for sharing your story. Sobbing my heart out as I write this.

God bless you all. My mom is 84 yrs old and lives 20 hours from me and is in late stage decline with AZ. I found your article and appreciate your candid and heartfelt story about your mom and family journey. That road is not always clear and your story shines light on what to expect. Thank you! She is on home hospice so I am her sole caregiver. Watching a loved one die a slow and painful death is emotionally exhausting. I kept searching for answers on what to expect and am so thankful for your article.

It has given me great comfort. Thanks again. Thank you… this was so well written. I am at the end of the journey with my mom. Your words brought me such comfort. I will cherish these last few weeks. My sisters and I are on day three of our vigil. The staff here and the hospice staff have been amazing. They have been very honest about each step we are to go through… so far we are on the same path you have documented We too are walking down memory lane.

We have laughed and cried and laughed until we cried. She is the center of the stories. As we share the tales she is in her bed in the center of the three of us, mouth agape , taking long breaks between breaths waiting for eternal peace. We share a kindred tale.

Before her disease had progressed too far our mother made it clear she wanted to donate her brain so it could be studied to help find a cure. She did not want another to endure this disease; as a patient, a caregiver, a child, a parent. No matter how it touches , you will never be the same. This is the most difficult thing I have ever done. I vacillate between selfishly wanting her to lay here a bit longer so I can continue holding her hand and stroking her brow and then hope that our good Lord allows for her peaceful exit soon.

One thing for sure is I hate this cruel disease and pray we will never have to go through this again. Thank you for sharing your painful story and I am sorry you too had to fell this unbearable pain. I appreciate the frankness of knowing what is yet to come. Peace and Blessings. Sorry Icould not read all of your story tonight! I will be their every step of the way with him, I pray to god that it progresses slowly.

Deeply touched at how beautifully you have penned down each detail. Your mother is alive through your words. Lots of hugs to you for having bravely fought these years and building up memories to cherish! I Have been scoring the internet looking for some kind of time line or what to expect. My grandmother has declined so drastically in the past 4 weeks. She is barely eating, if at all, minimal drinking and near constant sleeping. Tonight I called the nurse in her room to ask her to watch how she was drinking.

Unfortunately I was just getting ready to tell her about the coughing. I laid with her for hours tonight crying uncontrollably. I just went through this exact same scenario with my mother. She was diagnosed at 64 and just passed away at 74 from pneumonia due to complications of swallowing. After 10 years of constant worry, guilt and a grieving process that became a form quite like PTSD, I and she are finally free.

She passed away peacefully on Morphine with me. What I did not expect was the physical reaction I would have afterwards. As if every cell in my body had been holding the constant grief finally let go. The pain was excruciating. It only lasted anout 12 hours, but this is something I had not expected nor had been warned about. I am happy and relieved for her. She lost her job as a dental hygienist after working 30 years in that field. Her grown children are scared and in denial. Her second husband is divorcing her. I am left with caring for her. Your story was painfully enlightening. I will always be there for my sister.

I am terrified. I so appreciate this article but it confuses me as well. I think about her with everything I do, every where I go.

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I am already a high anxiety person and this is terrifying because I have no control. And it will not get better for her. Father God, please help me and all those going through this horrific disease. Please know that the end can also be more merciful. A dear man for whom I became legal guardian was still able to recognize people, walk and eat one day, yet died two days later. All of his systems shut down very rapidly and he was given morphine.

They can be worked with, released, and transformed. The past is not so easy to work with. It is comprised of outer and inner events that are now immutable, hazy in recollection, or maybe even inaccurate. There is no "magic bullet" that will dissipate all your past trauma or create instant feelings of safety. But if you continually bring attention to feelings of fear, loss, and confusion as they are arising and receive those feelings with compassion, they will begin to lose their grip.

Gradually you will discover that they come less often, with less intensity, and stay for shorter periods of time. The third of the four functions of the mother is empowering the child, encouraging and teaching independence and self-confidence. It is symbolized by the queen, who elevates her subjects and facilitates the beginning of their coming into their own power. The mother uses her royal power over the child with fairness, patience, generosity, and a commitment to preparing her child to become her equal or even to surpass her.

The ability to perform this function comes from the mother's own self-confidence and love and from embracing the view that it is her sacred duty to empower her young. Empowering is achieved by encouraging self-reliance and providing education, discipline, and learning opportunities for the child. You are empowered to try, therefore to make mistakes and still be fully accepted.

Your interests are met with enthusiasm; the importance and joy of hard work are recognized and encouraged. Failure is treated lightly, while curiosity and integrity are held in high regard. In fairy tales, when the queen neglects or is afraid to allow the young their power, the kingdom becomes ill and languishes. In real life, this is seen in the mother who neglects or is even afraid of her child becoming powerful, so that a host of problems develop through neglect, constant criticism, or creating dependency.

Sometimes because of over-identification, the mother is willing to empower but insists that her child be like her or succeed in ways that satisfy her own ego. This is a false form of empowerment, a subtle form of enslavement. You may not realize that there is a difference between the functions of nurturing and protecting and that of empowering, but the difference is crucial. With nurturing and protecting the mother is doing for you, whereas the empowering function allows you to find your own power through doing for yourself.

With your mother's blessing, you become independent and self-confident. If you struggle with empowerment, then you may lament your anxiety and ineptitude, your perfectionism, or your unwillingness to try new things. Struggles with self-confidence will be visible in your meditation. It is as though a blessing was withheld, and it is debilitating.

Slowly, through your yoga of being fully mindful of the wound, you learn how to give yourself the blessing of unconditional acceptance. By practicing being with things as they are, you may discover that all your life you have secretly been demanding that things be other than they are, and it has stopped your growth. You may discover that the empowering mother you have internalized is always critical, fearful, filled with aversion.

Meditation teaches you that this voice is mere thinking, characterized in Buddhism as Mara, the one who erodes one's power through doubt, fear, and greed. As your self-acceptance grows, you will discover that what needs to and can change about you will do so. This happens both because you have acquired the power to initiate change and because you have the capacity to respond to life in a manner that allows the ensuing experiences to reshape you. Those things that cannot change then become your yoga.

In time you realize that when consciously worked with, the limitations in your life can become the gateways to freedom. You start to discover that dis-identifying with the drama of your own story leads to a state of happiness and peace that is not dependent on the conditions of your life being a certain way. The fourth function of the mother is initiating, and it is the most difficult to understand. It is through acts of initiation that you come to feel as though you are a valuable and welcome member of your family. As you develop, it is this function that provides the inner feeling that your life has meaning, and by the teenage years you understand that you have the right to become the full expression of your own unique life.

It is also the initiation function that permits, accepts, and celebrates your leaving home to start your own life. A girl achieves the inner experience of womanhood by way of initiation by the mother, who does this through how she treats her own womanhood and that of her daughter. The father plays a key role in initiation as well by recognizing the girl's power and her natural right to become a woman. For a boy, it is the father who is the primary initiator into manhood, but it is the mother who recognizes that the boy is leaving her side to enter the company of men.

She signals that this is appropriate, not a reason for guilt, and she supports his bringing "mother replacements" in the way of female friends and girlfriends into her house. In welcoming them she acknowledges his independence. When initiation occurs in a timely and clear manner, it is a beautiful process, though often painful for the parent. Most initiation takes place through symbols, rituals, and unspoken behavior. When it does not occur, there is a sense of guilt, of staying a youth, of not knowing or not feeling entitled to one's place in life.

For a mother to be effective in providing initiation, she must have somehow received or found her own. It is the most selfless of all the aspects, for she is encouraging a separation that leaves her without. This initiating power is associated with the shaman, the goddess, the magus, and the medicine woman. In seeking initiation you may be attracted to teachers who claim superior understanding, who create an impression of having vast authority, thus signaling what is often a false claim that they can initiate. You may frantically want answers in your life, not understanding that initiatory power will come to you if you treat your questions as sacred.

It is tempting to surrender your power to a teacher rather than seek a teacher who will initiate you so that you gain self-empowerment. You may be caught in wanting to have energetic experiences on the cushion as a form of initiation. You may simply want something to happen in your life that signals your aliveness, meaning, and place. It is a call for initiation. It is much the same with teenagers who get tattoos, pierce their bodies, form cliques, posses, or gangs, and carelessly risk their lives and use drugs or fundamentalism of one sort or another to initiate themselves.

It is not realistic to expect a parent to provide all the initiation functions for a child. A parent only begins the process of initiation, which can be viewed as a series of lifelong developmental processes that are actualized through the use of rituals and sacred space by various spiritual and societal leaders. If you were fortunate, what you did not receive from a mother or father, you might have received from grandparents, a caring relative, a teacher, or youth leader.

Your experience of the first three functions may have been less than "good enough," therefore you may never have had the momentum to seek initiation. Likewise, your mother and your father may have suffered from their own lack of initiation such that providing initiation was simply far beyond them, even though they were good parents in other ways. Initiation begins with finding an identity within the family and community, then switches to initiation into wholeness within your inner being, and culminates in a sense of unity with life itself.

Each stage of initiation is more subtle than the previous one, and the unhealed emotional wounds become more treacherous to deal with at each level. It is never too late for you to experience any of the stages of initiation in your life. Both through your own explorations and by working with those who act as elders, you can achieve a deeper symbolic relationship with yourself and life.

There are a series of reflections that may help you develop your yoga of the mother wound. For instance, throughout human history, the tasks of mothering were shared by members of the extended family, tribal elders, and family friends. The community had rituals that helped in the process, including those that taught you to take comfort in the earth or nature as the Great Mother. Unfortunately, nowadays there is often only a mother and father to do all that needs to be done. Nor is there much use of nature as mother or of group ritual.

Is it any wonder that your mother may have struggled with some of these aspects of mothering? No matter how difficult your relationship with your mother, there is still the singular fact that she carried you to birth. The gift of birth forms its own strong bond. Likewise, there is within your mother experience a level of sufficiency that brought you to this moment. Your having this awareness and capacity means that the mothering you received was good enough for you to go on from there to find your own wholeness in life.

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Maybe the most useful reflection is to realize the gift of the negative. This points to the understanding that what was not given or was poorly given is also valuable because of what it elicits from you. Much of your wisdom comes from having to cope with the pain and uncertainty you experienced as a child.