12 November 2011
Coping With Family
The last several nights, I have been woken with my tears. Gut wrenching sadness fills me. Upon awakening, my mom immediately comes to mind as do all of my siblings, nieces and nephews.
In my waking nightmare, I see my mom laying out dead in her bed; I witness her end. I am awake. I can't wake up. I am alone. I begin to sob. I don't know where to turn.
Every day I see my mom and I know that she's dying. I am reminded by her fading existence that I need to call an undertaker STAT. Instead, I have day-mares that are paralyzing. Unable to move, another day passes and I still haven't contacted a funeral home to arrange for them to pick up my mom's dead body.
The Hospice Bereavement person I spoke with was great. The help provided allows me to better understand why my siblings are behaving the way they are toward me. It was explained to me that everyone has a role, both good and bad; it's part of the family balance.
I thought of each of my brothers and sisters. I replayed in my mind how everyone behaved when we were children. The bully, the carer, the comedian, the dreamer and the emotionally needy. Our own little model of the systems theory, my family was balanced. Unfortunately, my brother died several years ago; we are unbalanced as a family without him. (Today was Ed's birthday... he would have been 55.)
Family dynamics is wild; the root cause of my angst of Care Giving for my mom. I had a life long belief which was full of expectation, thanks to my dad. Unrealistic expectations of my surviving brother and sisters.
Nothing would make me happier to have my sisters and brother near for support. However, their individual family roles that they played when we were younger has taken precedence. Old childhood behaviors surface. Weaknesses are known, blows to the gut are delivered and excuses are answers. No wonder families are destroyed when tragedy strikes its tepid blow.
Understanding how my family works doesn't make it any easier to get through the sadness that I am feeling. Watching mom slowly fade is the most difficult experience of my life. Fortunately, Mom has no idea who is or isn't coming to see her, thank God she hallucinates.
I am tired. I wonder where I will find the strength to see my mom's dead body when the time arrives. Do I call my siblings right away and give them an opportunity to see her? If I do, I run the risk of an abusive exchange that will make coping even more difficult for me.
I pray for my mom's end to come. I pray that I will make the right choices. I pray for peace to be restored in my life.