March 31st is the Intenational Transgender Day of Visibility, and this is an excellent time to remind you all that I am a straight ally and safe space for all members of the LGBTIQA+ communities.
At this point in time history is being repeated from about a century ago, when the Nazi party under Adolf Hitler began to demonise, dehumanise and legislate against trans folx, paving the way for attacks and violence against queer people in general. Now, more than ever, it is vital for allies of every stripe to stand up and with members of our communities who are trans.
Trans women are women. Trans men are men. And we all deserve dignity, respect and safety at end of life, in death and in our daily lives. Everywhere.
If you didn’t know, I work online as an end of life consultant, death doula and specialist grief psychotherapist. If you don’t live in Tasmania Australia but would still appreciate support I am here for you. If you aren’t sure where to go to find local support I can also help you try and find someone in your area – who would, like me, be supportive, an ally and judgement-free (because who needs any of that in their lives anyway??!). I am here for you and you are safe with me.
I hope that your day of visibility is filled with joy, love and peace.
In other news, I have been rather quiet and slow to respond to emails and phone calls, and there are legitimate reasons for this, but I have been fairly quiet about one of these reasons to date, so let me share some personal stuff with you.
I have long COVID, which is due to two bouts of the Spicy Cough in the second half of last year. The first round hit me very badly, resulting in brain fog, exhaustion, mood changes and yet more exhaustion. Longer-term I have had some difficulty with word retrieval and ongoing lack of energy, which means I am behind on every conceivable deadline. I apologise for any missed communications, for slowness in rescheduling events and training, and for lateness in general. Long COVID is very real and very difficult to live with. Thank you all for your patience and understanding as I slowly emerge from the re-ignited symptoms that the second bout in late November of last year caused me. I’m finally writing and working again, but I need to be slow.
The bigger, background stuff has been going along for a while, which is my mother’s Alzheimers. I have mentioned this in the past, but I haven’t talked about it much lately because it is increasingly worsening, and I’ve needed time to process this. Tomorrow, April 1 – I know, I know LOL – I will fly north for several days to help settle my mother into a nursing home. She had a fall at home and the family member who is her carer wasn’t able to help her get up so an ambulance was called and mum was admitted to the hospital. No injuries, but the geriatrician called her ‘frail’ for the first time.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with what the word ‘frail’ means in medical terms – it signifies a person is in declining physical robust health, so probably either approaching or entering the final stage of life. My mum is not imminently dying, but she is not longer able to be at home – dementia is a terminal disease, and her muscle mass has been affected to the point that she cannot walk well or steadily and her care needs are increasing beyond what a family carer can provide. Being in a care facility means more socialisation and access to physical therapy, at least it does for one of our local homes and we are grateful that a space was available for her.
My mother’s Alzheimers is quite unusual, although everyone’s dementia journey is deeply individual, in that she still recognises her children and grandchildren, and knows where she is. Her internal world is clearly a rich and engaging one for her – no nasty voices or urges for aggression or violence have been experienced by her, so fear is not an issue. This means that while mum is consistently drawn back into her own world she is capable of following a conversation and still has short term memory that functions to a certain extent.
I am working at this time, but I will be taking breaks and time-out when needed. The ongoing administration requirements for the care home alone are exhausting.
Be kind to yourselves, be kind to others and if you celebrate Easter then have a good long weekend with chocolate.