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View Diary: My 98yo mom kicks my butt (81 comments)

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  •  I know it's true. And I really do try to take (12+ / 0-)

    a day a week (I still call). It just never seems to work out no matter what I do!

    Call it bad Karma, nasty bad luck, luck of the draw, whatever. Apparently I'm just not on the upside of the whatever!

    Best to you. I have to say that I hope no one else ever happens to have to deal with this. Maybe someday--for all the right reasons--this will be actualized (to use a 60s term).

    202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them.

    by cany on Fri Dec 16, 2011 at 10:57:41 PM PST

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    •  Many of us deal with/have dealt with this! Very (1+ / 0-)
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      few get out of life without it. Unless we die before our parents, we have to deal with them dying.

      Does it suck? Yes. It does. It forces us to learn things and grow and groan and experience things we NEVER wanted to. But it IS a part of life. I called it "walking into the fire of it."

      With all due respect, wanting people to live forever results in the condition she's in. Our technological advances have resulted in more people being able to live longer in the state your mother is in. How long would you want to live if you were in the state she is in? How long do you want her to live in the state she is in?

      We want to live our lives never having to confront those questions, but almost 100 percent of us must confront them.

      What I found when I was staring them in their beady little eyes, was that many people I knew had already been there. But they talked with other people in the same boat when they went through it. This stuff isn't stuff we talk about in casual conversation, in this day and time. So we're not aware of others' struggles with it.

      In the old days, gramma was huddled by the fire in the fireplace, sleeping on a cot in a room with one or more children... laid out on a table in the house when she died. Neighbors knew when she was sick unto death. Neighbors brought food when the family member was very ill, and when they died. For decades now, all this has happened out of sight in "care homes," etc. "Out of sight, out of mind".

      But that doesn't mean we're not all coping with it/ haven't coped with it.

      You/ we can cope with it on the surface, "What meds, what appointments, etc." or we can walk right into the fire of it, the big questions. "Do I understand exactly what it means to have dementia? Am I in denial about that?"  "Is mom still here?" (My guess is: No.)

      "Would I want to live like this?" "If so, for how long?" "Would she want to live like this, if she knew her current condition when she was in her right mind?"

      "Am I woman enough to comfort her as she moves towards death?" "Am I asking her to stay for selfish reasons?" "Have I forgiven her for the hurtful things she did, to the best of my ability, so that tie holding her to life is finished, so she can go when ready?" (I do not think that's easy, BTDT.)

      "Can I remind her when it's her time to go, so she can?" "Can I support her in her dying process, when that time is here?"

      (Example: "It's OK, honey, it's OK to go, don't be afraid, I'm here to hold your hand till you go." (In my opinion that will reach the demented person, because they still have plenty of fear.)

      There is something about the process of our parent dying that requires us to fully become an adult. To finally, at long last, loosen the strings that bound us to them as their child, the person who had to obey them. To finally become an adult, the adult person who is calling the shots in their care, which means that they're our dependent now. A complete and total role reversal, which feels like being turned inside out. But is exactly what is needed.

      We have to be strong enough to let them go, to recognize when they are already gone, to comfort them in the same way we'd comfort a helpless baby as they become more helpless, to quit asking them to be an adult, because they are not any more, to quit asking them to be our parent, because they are not any more.

      The number one big reason that we have to step up and be the adult, to become their parent as they slide into infantile oblivion -- is that the one thing more horrible than losing a parent is to lose a child. If we had died first, they would have had to face that. The natural order of things is that children live through the deaths of their parents.

      It's a rite of passage. Live it as that, and it will heal you and her both.

      This health care system is a moral atrocity. Dr. Ralphdog

      by AllisonInSeattle on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 02:06:29 AM PST

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