Memorial Day

A heartfelt Memorial Day to all our veterans living and deceased, male and female, and animals. I am proud to state that I have two nephews and one grand-nephew who are presently serving in our armed forces. Both of my nephews are majors in the U.S. Army, and my grand-nephew recently joined the Marine Corps. My dad had been in the Army Air Corps, and I also have European family who were veterans. My maternal grandmother’s younger brother fought in WWI and was a machine gunner on the front lines. He passed at the age of 19 on Armistice Day — from of all things — food poisoning. Their elder brother was in the Royal Irish Constabulary and passed in what was then British India from illness. My paternal great-grandfather was in the British army.  My grand aunt served in the ambulance corps during WWI as a nurse and later entered the order of the Sisters of St. Louis, becoming a professed nun. I heard so many fantastic stories growing up from both sides of my family, here and in Europe. I love watching documentaries of past wars realizing how my loved ones’ sacrifices have been instrumental in making my life presently very content. My dad use to say that one has already won the lottery being born in the USA. How right he was! European relations talking about surviving the Great Blitz during WWII. Yes, in a way, they were also “veterans”. Just imagine being bombed constantly every night where eventually you just accepted it as a way of life. Most of the time it is too unbelievable. Just think what our world would be like today if they did not stand up for our freedoms! May they and their struggles never be forgotten or taken for granted. We are so blessed! Thank you to all the men, women, and animals!

#memorialday #medium

Elderly Depression

As we near the end of Mental Health Awareness Month, I’d like to share this information sent to us by Sally Writes about dealing with elderly depression:

Spiritual Support Central to Treating Elderly Depression

Mental illness and depression among the elderly is a serious problem. People aged 65 and older make up 13% of the US population, but account for over 18% of all suicides. Depression is a very personal illness, and no two cases are identical, but there are patterns you can detect that can alert you to if yourself or a loved one is struggling with the condition. Instances of suicide happen more often when feelings of hopelessness are compounded and amplified by social and spiritual isolation. Emphasizing a reconnection of the strong foundation of loved ones and belief practices and traditions that a person has relied on in the past can help revive a sense of joy in life. Alongside proper psychiatric treatment, spiritual practice can guide them on the road to recovery.

Knowing is half the battle

Depression in the elderly can arrive as such an immersive and pervasive feeling that the one suffering from it may not easily recognize it as a problem distinct from their life and who they are. This often adds to the hopelessness. It is important to be aware of the warning signs of depression so that the first step can be taken: identifying the problem. When alert to these symptoms, you will be able to take action on how to treat the illness with professional help when needed and guide the one who is suffering back to health.

Connection: the big picture

Spiritual and social context are very important in recovery and prevention. One of the earliest scientific researchers into the problem of suicide was the French sociologist Émile Durkheim. He identified four general classifications of suicide. In fatalistic or egoistic suicide, common among young cases, the individual feels either oppressed by society, or radically out of place as an individual. Altruistic suicide is connected to a fatal devotion to honor. Anomic suicide, named after the sense of anomie, being completely uprooted from familiar boundaries and supports.

Returning to the center

When cultures and lifestyles change radically or rapidly, feelings of anomie are commonplace. This often happens in the physical and spiritual isolation that can accompany old age. Studying the patterns of 19th century Europe, Durkheim discovered that elderly male farmers were particularly vulnerable to these risks. More recent studies of suicide in India have shown that Durkheim’s hypotheses still hold true in present day circumstances. The community, grounding and connection that spiritual practice and understanding provides, shines a warm light into the darkness that the lost and hopeless feelings of anomie cast on an individual.

Depression is an illness that thrives on silence. Identifying the problems and bringing them out into the open is crucial. Even if the condition is not severe or clinical, the compassion of listening and communication will help. And by maintaining a solid framework of spiritual support, the despair of anomie can be kept at bay, even in the most trying of times.

Happy Mother’s Day

I just wanted to wish everyone a Happy Mother’s Day. I know it can be a difficult time for those who can’t be with their mothers or children. Just know you will all be together again in the Hereafter, and each day brings you one step closer to completing your journey here on earth. Never forget our loved ones in the Hereafter are closer to us than we can imagine, and draw closer to us on days like these.

National Pet Adoption Weekend

It’s National Pet Adoption Weekend! As many of you know, I adopted my two kitties Chloe and Hermey, and they are two great gifts in my life. Earlier this week, I also spoke about how helpful the love of a pet can be in our lives. I would advise anyone who can love and take care of a pet to consider adoption. There are so many animals out there looking for a home.  Animals are not just important to us here on earth, but they are important in the Hereafter. Many souls have mentioned being greeted by their pets when they crossed over.  Animals are also used in a therapeutic way to help those who need rest and a type of rehabilitation after a particularly difficult journey here on earth.

#medium #petadoption