Now that I’ve told you about my own Mom and Dad, and the end-of-life issues we’re facing, I feel like a burden’s been lifted from my shoulders.
I’ve spent the past 33 years, as an Elder Law attorney, encouraging people to discuss their feelings when a parent is dying. And now that my own mother is in hospice – and my 91-year-old father is facing life without her – I’ve become, in a way, my own client.
Death, to most of us, is the elephant in the room. We know it’s there. But we don’t want to acknowledge it. But if you know someone who isn’t going to die…I’d like to know about it!
Truly, it’s the one thing – maybe the only thing – that every one of us has in common.
I have no idea how I’ll react when my Mom dies. I have no idea how it will hit me a year down the road, or in years to come. But I’m allowing myself to think about it. And – as you can see! – I’m allowing myself to talk about it.
Now that I’m in the position of so many of my clients, I’m seeing some things in a new light…for example, what’s important, and what’s not.
I occasionally hear people fretting over buying a house. But now, when I hear that, I think, “Why aren’t you happy you have a chance to buy a house? Why aren’t you counting your blessings?”
Gratitude can be strong medicine for the soul. Yes, I’m mentally and physically exhausted from being a caregiver to my parents. But I’m also grateful that I have the opportunity to be here for them.
We’re living longer than ever, of course. Perhaps that makes it even harder to accept the fact that, one day, we’re going to die. Yet – no matter how long you live – it goes so fast! So why aren’t we taking more time to smell the roses…to enjoy the process of living?
My Dad once said that we start to die the moment we’re born. So why aren’t we discussing it more? Maybe we need to re-think the concept of death…and life.
Perhaps, by acknowledging our eventual death, we’ll be able to live a more productive and joyful life!
My Mom and Dad (Part 2)