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Reflections on Loss

Reflections on Loss


I lost my father 15 years ago to Alzheimer’s Disease. He spent probably ten years before that turning into someone quite different from the father I knew and loved. He was relatively young, only 76 when he died, and he never got to meet any of his three great-grandchildren. I regret not being nearby to help my mother care for him, and to communicate more to him of my feelings. Our relationship was often stormy, as we were (are) both stubborn about our opinions and given to argument. I only learned to live peaceably with him and his opinions pretty late in my life, when he was already in the beginning stages of his disease.

Since my father’s death, I have lost others who were dear to me in different ways, all of which has led to some melancholy about the passing of the years, reaching the autumn of my own days, and the constancy of loss in my life. My youth is certainly gone; my body daily reminds me that it is not the same, not as hardy and able as it once was; my family has shrunk with the natural progression of children making their own lives and families and moving away; and with retirement I have lost the rewards of work and the reinforcement to my ego of doing well at what I do.

This is not to say that there are no rewards to retirement, and no interests to sustain me–far from it! I now have more time to travel, I devote time to family history research and teaching genealogy classes, and I have thrown myself wholeheartedly into digital scrapbooking and being the keeper of memories and family lore. Being able to do all this makes me happy, keeps my brain working and learning, and gives me plenty to do each day to keep from dwelling on what is lost. My life reflects who I am today, a product of who I’ve been over the years, and of all the family and friends who have been a part of my present and past. I’m grateful for all of that, yet still sorry to say goodbye to what once was.

June, 2011

Thanks to Skrapper Digitals for her kit: Artistic Heritage, Autumn Reflections.

Fonts: Traveling Typewriter, Myriad Pro.


theStudio Monet
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Registered: February 2009
Location: San Diego
Posts: 2,584
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Date: Wed June 22, 2011
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Dimensions: 600 x 600
Keywords: reflections on loss


theStudio Monet
Thanks, Dona, for your personal reflections here. They are touching and something I relate to. I like your use of autumn as the time of your life as well. I like the reflection in the title. I like your willingness to share your personal feelings and to reflect the growth that comes with time.

P.S. I love family history work, too!
#1 Wed June 22, 2011 07:40


theStudio Designer
Absolutely Beautiful, and touching story Donakat! (hugs) Alzheimer's is such a cruel disease, stealing from it's victims the most precious things they have, their beloved memories. I'm so sorry for your loss, and can relate, my Grandmother suffers from Alzheimer's as well. A fact we didn't realize fully (because she is such a quiet and hospitable woman to complete strangers and close family alike.) until my Grandfather's funeral last year. We all realized almost simultaneously that we had 'lost' both grandparents at the same time and were devastated to see how quickly and silently she had been 'slipping away' before our very eyes. I applaud you for taking the initiative to record your family's history in such a beautiful way. You are such a talented layout artist, what a tremendous gift your scrapbooks will be to all the members of your family for decades to come! I often wish that I were able to find out more about my descendants but unfortunately alot of their history passed with them. :-( It's a huge undertaking to be the family historian, as you are, but realize that your family for years to come will be so blessed and fascinated by the beauty of your hard work and efforts today. ((hugs))

#2 Wed June 22, 2011 07:51


theStudio Picasso
I love the journaling about your father as I am going through the same thing with my mom with Alzheimer's only she is living with me. I can identify with you as your story could easily be mine with the retirement, travel, scrapbooking and genealogy. Well written story.


#3 Wed June 22, 2011 08:11


theStudio Monet
fantastic title work and composition. love the cut-out border. superb layout.
For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone. ~ Audrey Hepburn

Families are forever because love never melts.
#4 Wed June 22, 2011 09:09


theStudio CT
Beautiful journaling and I so much love your layout. Growing older is not always easy, but I do believe it is worth while!

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#5 Wed June 22, 2011 14:14


theStudio CT
Terrific journaling, Dona! So sad about your Dad ... Alzheimer's is such a sad process and disease. It seems to extend the grief process out to much longer than it should be. I love the blended photos and the clustering. The "reflected" title is a perfect touch.

#6 Wed June 22, 2011 15:38


theStudio Picasso
You've truly shared your heart and inspiration in this precious layout! I loved that you were able to turn the sadness into a positive. I think scrapbooking does that for me too! You've shared such insight and wisdom in the retelling of your story. How exciting to teach (I love teaching) others about how to capture and share their life stories through genealogy classes. What a gift!

Your layout is very beautiful. I love the faded images of your and your father at each corner, most opposite, yet most complimentary. The floating center background is very creative and I would like to learn how you did that. I love how you layered the papers giving the layout texture and depth. i also love the clusters as they add the perfect touch. I hope you print this one for the ages, it should be cherished.
Here's to more happy scrapping, and

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#7 Wed June 22, 2011 15:43


theStudio Monet
Gorgeous layout and all the symbols of reflections. I am sorry for your lose, but truly amazing how you have learned from it and grown. Blessings to you!
Rhonda J Johnson

aka Princess

#8 Wed June 22, 2011 19:55


theStudio Picasso
Your layout is beautiful! I love the simple and delicate clusters in the corners and the reflected title, it's so creative. The whole layout is nicely done! Your journaling is poignant and I can relate to so very much of it myself. Thank goodness we have this hobby, this creative outlet, this way of carrying ourselves into the next phases of your lives. Thank you for sharing!
Rose Thorn

aka ladyofthethorns

My Digital Scrapbooking Blog

MY PERSONAL BLOG (life after a CVA)
#9 Wed June 22, 2011 20:16


theStudio Picasso
Your layout is beautiful on so many levels. The composition, the placement of the elements, the gorgeously blended elements. But then the journaling puts it over the top. It's so reflective, thoughtful and personal. It's just lovely.

As an aside, we thought my grandfather had Alzheimers, but he went downhill so rapidly. Then we found out he actually had cancer and it was affecting his kidneys and his brain. Still, to see someone you love become someone else is the hardest thing. He called the police and told them my (87 year old) grandmother was turning tricks in the basement. I told her to look on the bright side, he obviously still thought she was hot.
#10 Thu June 23, 2011 08:30


theStudio Monet
OMG, Lori, that's so right on. We went through similar things with my dad, and humor kept us going and getting us through. Though the situation is not funny, sometimes a little dark humor can keep the bad stuff from being overwhelming.
#11 Thu June 23, 2011 12:31


theStudio Designer
I love to see the strength that shines through your journaling.
Beautiful layout, especially like the "reflection" for the title
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#12 Fri June 24, 2011 11:15

Maurine Stettler

theStudio Designer
What a wonderful page and layout design! I love the balance with the pictures in opposite corners and the personal, heartwarming story you shared in between. It's important to recognize loss, too, and that it isn't always about another person, but often pieces of who we are. Your words on retirement really struck home to me, because our work life and friends are often a big part of who we are, and leaving that behind can leave a big hole. Really wonderful job on this!
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#13 Fri June 24, 2011 12:54


theStudio Artist
I wish it was easier to post from my phone, because there is so much I love about this. I'll leave it with....this is awesome!
#14 Sat June 25, 2011 22:14

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