Saturday, April 13, 2013

The End......

the end of the story photo: story end.jpg nigh. I see that now.

Let the grieving begin. No, Mummy isn't fading away, lest you think that's what I'm saying, quite the contrary. Rather it is that the time has surely come for her to be put into a facility and even though good sense tells me this is what must be done if I am to survive, that makes it no less difficult.

This has been a long and hard journey. I've said on more than one occasion that my mother was not loving. I perhaps have avoided using those precise terms, but that's what I've been trying to say. I have developed a great deal of respect for how hard it must have been for her to have these kids (who would surely need tertiary education which she couldn't afford) to feed, clothe, shelter, educate and help self-actualize. Did she do it perfectly? Heck no. No parent does. Did she do it well? Well, she did it well enough I suppose. I can write in complete sentences. I even have a couple of degrees, my sister has three and my cousin who lived with us for several years has 2.75 (he's 'All But Dissertation' on his doctorate), so clearly she did alright in that sense, but did she love us as we ought to have been loved? I'm going to give her a "No" on that one, but she did the very best she could. That absence, that lack of affection has naturally informed how each of us has dealt with this current pass and it has not been easy. As I said in an earlier post, I have chosen to bend emotionally, lest I break.

The fact though, that one's parent is emotionally withholding or emotionally inept, does not necessarily make the anticipation of permanent separation any easier. Perhaps it makes it easier for some, but it doesn't make it a lick easier for me. For some reason, it's harder. It is not that I hold out hope of miraculous healing, or that I hold out hope that she will one day look at me with the love that my grandmother did. Ain't gonna happen. And still there's something I'm waiting for I think, though I have no idea what it might be: recognition; acknowledgement; respect; admiration; any or all of the things every child wants from their parents at least once before they die? Yeah, well, ain't none of them on the menu here so I just need to get over myself, but pragmatism will only carry you so far. There are places that only emotions can go and the parent/child relationship is one of those places. Because I have chosen to open myself up to this process emotionally (rather than stay on lock down as my mother taught us so well how to do), here I am today grieving for the mother who never showed up, and who is now never going to.

It pains me to watch her blankness. It pains me to have her look at me with either disdain or just a complete lack of recognition. Those seem to be all I can get out of her. I get that it's the disease but still. Let the grieving begin.

I don't know how anyone else does this. I only know how I am doing it. For my friends who think that sharing these thoughts is damaging to my professional 'brand', I suggest you not worry about it too much. I don't want to be on TV as the resident Alzheimer's Disease survival expert, but there are things that have gone on here that needed to be aired out. If I had had to live with this without airing some of it, I would not have survived.

So let the grieving begin. My sister has found a place for Mummy and presumably within the next month or two Barbs will be moving to it. It's been a long, hard journey, made all the harder by the internal and external pulling and tugging. As you might imagine, this has not brought great peace to my household or to the people in it.

So let the grieving begin. Let it begin, let it continue and one day, God willing, let it end in peace and joyful remembrance.

Amen and amen.

1 comment:

  1. This is a fantastic post. I think parents of our parents generation did not know or understand how to show affection. Affection was a sign that kids were being spoilt and that was not to be done.