Thanks so much for all your loving thoughts from that last post. I found my Grandma feeling very sad and emotional on Tuesday, worrying about her salvation. It broke my heart -- this woman who's given her whole life to this paternal God, all in the name of a peaceful death... has no peace in her heart in her last days. She worries that she's not reading her bible enough now (her mind is so chaotic that she has a hard time reading anything) and so I tried to find comforting, encouraging, reassuring verses to read to her. My goodness. I had forgotten what a vengeaful, wrathful, judging God the bible teaches about! So I sang to her. And I opened my heart and just poured my love into her. I visualized peace and acceptance and forgiveness and love just pouring into her and healing her aching heart. It worked. By the time we left she was much calmer and more at peace. I've talked to her each morning since and she sounds stronger and more her old self.
It's amazing to me that in our culture we somehow think it's okay to put our old people into institutions where their bodies will be cared for, where they're completely separated from the families that they've dedicated their lives to, but somehow we pretend that we feel 'good' about all this because 'they're getting the very best care'. To me, my Grandma is like a small child now, her mind is not clear and she needs constant reassurance and love and attention from people she trusts. She's forgotten that she's lived in that home for 10 years. Nobody is familiar to her. She looks around her room every minute and can't figure out how all her things got there. She forgets even the names of her children, but she doesn't forget that she doesn't belong there. There's nobody that she loves to reassure her and comfort her and make her feel safe. Her spirit dies a little every day that because it's not restored and filled with the love of her own people. And so it takes a lot of filling to heal that.
I'm not against daycare. I know a lot of children thrive in such places, with loving caretakers to stimulate them and teach them... But imagine children put into daycare where their parents only visited them once or twice a week? For an hour or so? Unthinkable! That's what the orphanages in Romania and China are like -- and we all know the results -- permanently stunted and spiritually-deformed, emotionally-haunted children. Why do we expect anything different to happen to our aged?