My brother in law, "Bil", is about to reach an ending in his life. And his disability limits how he can cope, or reach out for help.
Today's post is about mortality.
My mother in law will turn 90 later this year, as my husband and I turn 65. She is not in the best of health. Without Bil, and some other assistance, she wouldn't be able to live independently.
One day, perhaps soon, perhaps not, she will no longer be able to take care of Bil. And, eventually, she will reach the end we all do, because we are all mortal.
I've wondered, for years: How will Bil react to this ending in his life? I suspect that it will be different from when his father died, nearly 20 years ago. Bil didn't really react to it, not in a way that we not on the autistic spectrum would recognize. In fact, he blamed the family cat for his father's death. (His father died in his sleep from a heart attack). How he came to this conclusion, I don't know.
Bil's father didn't participate that much in Bil's upbringing. I don't remember much interaction between Bil and his father, in fact.
None of us is getting younger. His two brothers and his two sisters in law are all older than Bil is. And that's another worry, too. Autism does not shorten your life span. Bil is in better health than all four of us. Chances are, we will all predecease him.
I dread the day when we will find out the answer to the question of how Bil will react to his mother's death. His mother has been his caregiver, his companion, his interpreter of the world, his advocate, for his entire life. The conversations about this are going to have to come soon, though. That is also something else we must face.
How do we approach it?
It's all part of "M" day for the Unknown Journey Ahead, my theme for the Blogging from A to Z Challenge.