Big sister thoughts



When Kath cries something deep inside me moves. She is my little sister even though we are the age we are now. It's a hard wired fact that it is my job to look after her. The years have not eroded that wiring despite rationality. On an emotional level I am her older sister and it's my job to make it OK.

Sadly it is not OK. Mum's scan this week shows bad bad news. Her abdominal area is filling with fluid. This is part of the "end game" when it comes to liver cancer. Her bone density is falling so we have to be extra careful about preventing knocks and falls. The chemo has been stopped now as it is no longer doing anything of value.

Thing is all this is happening and somehow or other I keep finding myself shut off emotionally from the enormity of it. But coming home to my sister in tears acts as a catalyst ... an unblocking of the damn within and suddenly all I can do is FEEL and blimey I wish it weren't so. And yet ... I am glad too because to be present is all about thoughts and feelings in the NOW.

Today is another day and one of the things I am thankful for is that I didn't cry or wail when Mum and I discussed her will yesterday. Still to have the discussions about her funeral and no doubt that too will be hard going but these things I learnt from Renee ... this process belongs to the person going through it ... my job is to show up and be there ... to show love and understanding but also to be ... well just me I guess. Dropping the pretence that all is well is actually quite a relief in some ways.

6 comments:

  1. Oh jos. I think there is a special club for those of us who must help our parents die. I'll bet your sadness is so wrapped in love that sometimes it all feels so REAL that there's a gratefulness to it too. I look back on my father'z last months and I know I was a present good person. I cherish that. There is no doubt you are helping your Mother and sister.

    Everytime I hear Renee's name my heart stops. It is unbelievable what she taught us: a show-don't-tell that guides us always.

    I am sorry your Mom and you and your sister and family have to face this, jos. You are doing what is needed most and doing it with grace and love. If you're the strong and stoic sister and daughter, that doesn't mean you stuff your feelings. It means you do what you can

    It is always always a joy for me when you post.

    Walking along side you, together strong

    Love
    kj

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  2. " Still to have the discussions about her funeral and no doubt that too will be hard going but these things I learnt from Renee ... this process belongs to the person going through it ... my job is to show up and be there ... to show love and understanding but also to be ... well just me I guess. Dropping the pretence that all is well is actually quite a relief in some ways. "

    Renee sounds wise. I often speak openly with my patients about death and I think it is a relief for them. They know.

    And for you to be feeling instead of blotting out emotion is a very good thing.

    Sending hugs woman.

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  3. We all learned so much from Renee - I hope she knows.

    As an older sister to my beloved brother, I can completely relate to your feelings about being the caretaker. I totally understand, and it is also your "job" to be brave and strong - which you are doing so beautifully. You mom is a lucky mom to have such a good daughter, who does this with love. and you are lucky to have your mom and sister to take care of and do things for.

    I agree with everything KJ says - this isn't an easy road but one that must be traveled together. I lost my much loved Mother in law to cancer a few years ago and we had these talks - but they were hard hard hard to have.

    much love and hugs, mim

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  4. Sometimes we shut down a bit emotionally, just so we can deal with the raw needs of the moment...the physical needs. Grief can be debilitating, and as you so eloquently said, this is your step up moment so Mom can own her passage onward. All hard stuff. You are managing it Citrus, in a beautiful and meaningful way. I'm so sorry for the pain.

    ((Hugs))

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  5. Ah, dear Jos.... how I wish you and your family did not have to experience this....having lost both parents quite a while ago, (and I was an only child),I know it is the most difficult thing one must endure. Our Renee was (and continues to be) such a great inspiration in coping with life, death, pain....I believe she DOES know she continues to inspire and offer strength.

    You have a wonderful relationship with your Mum...what you are doing now, by being the *Brave One*, is a real help to her....it will strengthen the bonds of love - forever.

    I am always here - if you need to share, to cry, to vent. Sending love, saying prayers.
    Love,

    ♥ Robin ♥

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  6. Jos, I am sorry it has been so long since I have come here, you know I have been sick since your phone message. There really are no words. I am glad that you are getting to spend time with your mum in her last days, that is a great gift, one I wish I had had. I know it must be the hardest thing you have ever done, but you are one of the bravest people I know. I wish I was there to help. You know that I count you as one of my dearest friends. I am sending love and giant hugs and grace, pounds of grace. xoxo

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