October 29, 2010

A Quiet Grief

This past week has been emotionally draining. We started with a wonderful celebration of my mother’s 90th birthday in Florida. But the rest of the week was spent in talking with my siblings and parents about their increasing need for assistance. While my stepfather will accept that it’s time, my mom will not go quietly into that good night.

I love that she is guarding her independence, but it comes at a cost. The ravages of a body that is betraying her cognitive and physical strength have also taken our friendship. With forgiveness and patience I forged a new relationship with my mom for about twenty-five years, getting as close as she would allow. I worked very hard to maintain it.

It is the passing of that friendship that I mourn today. I grieve too for the loss of her independence, something I pray I face with grace (and some feistiness as well). I still love her, I still forgive her, but it won’t be the same. It was great while it lasted and I will cherish the memories.


Blobby said...

Sorry for that part of the visit.

I too know what you're going through. My father turns 90 in a less than two months. I struggle daily with my parents on scaling back their independence - for their safety and others.

I'm going from most favoured nation status back to the black sheep.

Oh well, such is life.

rox said...

I imagine you totally handling aging with grace and dignity. My Grandmere is 93 and still living on her own. My mom died at 61. I want to go somewhere in the middle, before I lose my mind but after I've enjoyed enough life. Sadly, we don't get to choose when we go or how it plays out. All you can do is live your best life.

OMG I think I just quoted Oprah...shoot me.

Brian R said...

I do feel for you. My sister's closest friend has devoted her life to looking after her Mother (now 97) but it has now become too much and her mother had to go to a nursing home. She said it was terrible seeing the pure hatred in her mother's eyes. Her mother just does not understand that it would be physically impossible for her daughter to continue the care. So sad.

THIS IS ME....ONLINE said...

The reversal of roles when you become a parent to your parent is the worst. You have my sympathy and empathy. The first time that the retirement center called me and asked for a directive about Mom, I told them, "I don't know. What did she say?" It was so strange. My brother and I went with the plan to keep her with as much control over her own environment as possible. We quietly took care of the rest or set her up for a good decisions by narrowing out the choices. (Just like raising children.) My sister's plan was.....to stay out of sight for the hard stuff and show up on holidays. Of course, she lived in the same town as Mom and my brother and I were three hours away. Guess that's another story.

Hang in there. She's not the woman she once was, but she's still in there. Look at her hands. They once held you.