Suzie Daggett: Are you like me?
Are you like me, a 50 – 80 year old who is or was caring for their mom or dad in their dying process?
Our parents, a generation ahead of us are living longer, thanks mainly to modern medicine. When I see a friend, one of the first questions I ask is “How is your Mom?” Many of them have elders in care facilities or they are taking care of one or more parents at home.
This time of our lives with our children launched (we hope) and more time to travel or play at our engaging pastimes can be encapsulated by the care of our elders.
Caregiving can take many avenues — you might be calling once a day or taking them meals every day or making necessary arrangements from a distance because they elect to stay in their house of the last forty years, yet need help with their finances, grocery shopping or getting to the doctor.
Eventually, there will be a tipping point where they need more and more and more help. You and they will finally get to the point of facing the certainty of dying.
At that point, decisions need to be made, some of them very hard. New emotions will surface for the elder as well as you.
Discussing what is happening each step of the way can open the door to deeper love, a submerged wave of forgiveness or perhaps opening deep-seated resentments.
You may need to forgive them for an old hurt or they may need to forgive themselves for misbehaving or maligning you or someone else. The death and dying process has a way of bringing truth to the fore.
Your job is to forgive your parent, knowing they are human like you and did the best they could with the life they had. This is life at it’s richest if you can look at it with those eyes.
I worked very hard to keep my mom out of the hospital, which was her desire. Mom did not have a presenting illness, just old age and a strong will to pass to the “Other Side” that we honored.
The way was paved with love for Mom to die on her terms. She died quietly and peacefully in her bed with my brother and I present.
We spent the last few years making sure all her ducks were in order so her passing although sad, would be one of grace and dignity.
Her will was up to date; her signed DNR (do not resuscitate) was ever present; the mortuary paper work was filled out; all family heirlooms were designated; each child and grandchild had the last call giving Mom permission to die when she was ready; her beloved cat would find a new home when she was gone; she had little to no fear of actually dying; we respected and honored her desires every moment as we loved her up.
If you are part of this particular club, I hope you have the time and energy to prepare for the finalization of your elder’s life. Everyone will pass through these swinging doors to what they believe is next. Being prepared with an open mind, heart and spirit can soften the landing.
Suzie Daggett’s gift is to spin practical easily understood life advice with ageless spiritual wisdom bringing clarity to life’s journey. She is a speaker, writer and intuitive consultant. Her books include the recently published book “The Pink Door — Moms’ Journey to the Other Side;” From Ego to Soul Discover what your Soul needs and what your Ego wants and “PEARLS — 52 Contemplative Insights.” suziedaggett.com
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