Saturday, April 15, 2017

Mortality #atozchallenge

We all face endings in our lives.  It is hard for all of us to cope, but we have resources - intelligence, life experience, and the ability to reach out for help.

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.


11 comments:

  1. Being over-protective of a child who is different and less able to care for himself/herself comes naturally to a parent, but in the long run, can be counter-productive. A mother's entire job is to make sure she is redundant. Easier said than done! Tough decisions.

    Wish you all the best,
    Nilanjana

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    1. It is tough, and she is not going to change. We'll just have to work our way through it.

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  2. This has to be very tough on not only you and your husband, but to Bil's mother as well. Knowing that her life is coming to an end, yet the worry about her son after she is gone.

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    1. As a mother myself, I can understand that worry. Thank you for visiting.

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  3. I can't imagine how hard it will be to lose my mom. I don't think any of us really handle it well. I would imagine Bil would have similar feelings to all of us...how it will manifest...hopefully, better than the rest of us! He sure is lucky to have so many people who truly care about him.

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    1. It's hard, no matter your age (I was a preteen)and I hope he will cope with it well.

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  4. Oh, God bless. I have no idea how high functioning Bill is. I would think the best thing for him would be to go ahead and introduce whomever would be his next caregiver / helper into his life so that the transition, when it ultimately comes, would be somewhat easier on him. As far as his grief at the loss, I'd think to just surround him with love and support. Allow him to express his grief as he can and try to let him know it is normal and you feel it too. I hope God will come alongside you when the time comes and help.
    Perspectives at Life & Faith in Caneyhead

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    1. Thank you for your words and for your prayer. It's greatly appreciated.

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  5. Hi - I guess you could ask around from others who have experienced this type of challenge - and find out how it turned out ... I know every instance will be very different - but there'll be something you'll learn that will help, I hope. Difficult as you say ... all the best - Hilary

    http://positiveletters.blogspot.co.uk/2017/04/m-is-for-melton-mowbray-market-national.html

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    1. Believe it or not, I didn't even think to ask others who have been through it. Sometimes, I don't seek support as much as I should. Thank you for continuing to stop by.

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  6. This is a rough one! I don't envy you in the days ahead. Hopefully, arrangements will be made to have BIL's needs looked after when the time comes. The emotional fallout is bound to be difficult, though. Best wishes!

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