July 21, 2024
Search
Close this search box.
Search
Close this search box.
July 21, 2024
Search
Close this search box.

Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

I Thought My Sense of Smell Was Getting Worse

This past week you may have read in the New York Times “Science Times” section the piece on “failing the smell test.” It is an interesting article that suggests difficulties with some (or all) smells that might be linked in some way to later developing dementia. That seems to be the case with me. My overall sense of smell seemed poor for a number of years, including those years when I was having some “drop” attacks, but well before I was informed that I was showing clear signs of dementia. That is an interesting idea that may lead to more careful analyses in the future. (At the time I wasn’t fully aware that my sense of smell was diminishing, though I suspected it and just stopped thinking about it.) By the way, the Science Times section is almost always fascinating and informative.

With regard to my original article a few weeks ago on my dementia, something interesting and great has occurred for me. After the article was published, The Link posted it on Facebook. Very shortly thereafter, I began getting many beautiful and heartwarming comments. (Thank you to all who sent a note.) We are still in the process of answering all of them. It is interesting that one or two people whom I know very well were surprised that I was so open. I imagine that others might have felt that way as well. So, I wanted to comment on that to everyone who might have had that feeling. There certainly are a small number of things that I (we) keep private, but generally when it’s appropriate, we are not embarrassed to share. As I thought about it more, I think that is the point. In general, if/when there is something people are embarrassed or upset about, they keep it to themselves. That philosophy has not been our policy. We have found that our philosophy has made our life so much easier. Through difficult situations we have walked with our heads held high feeling good about the decisions we have made. That does not mean that our challenges have not been painful, but they certainly are not at all embarrassing. This recent issue is one of the trillions of things that happen to people that Hakodesh Baruch Hu decides that make no sense to us. But we accept it, while exploring every reasonable option and begging Hashem to help us find a way. (He did respond by sending us tremendous Chizuk from all our friends.)

I know of many situations where people went through terrible difficulties struggling with illnesses that they or someone very close to them were going to die from. Some of them told no one—not even their children, who only found out when the death occurred. I certainly understand them. It is too awful. But sharing it doesn’t make it worse; not sharing it, in my opinion, does. Talking to others about it doesn’t make it go away. It doesn’t change anything. But it gives us the tremendous benefit of being open about our pain and grief with people who share our pain and grief and who really care about us. And it gives us the benefit of sharing what we feel and crying with the person who will soon not be with us anymore.

I apologize to those who are not comfortable with my column. May no one suffer through painful, awful difficulties, but thank God that He has given us people who can be there as we suffer through the awful and impossible-to-understand trials of life. And for the few who have no one to be there for them, let every single one of us know it is our job to be the one.

By Rabbi Mordechai Glick

 

Leave a Comment

Most Popular Articles