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Friday, April 18, 2014

Becoming the oldest generation in your family

I am heading out tomorrow to go see my Mom for what will probably be the last time. She is failing fast in body and mind and I was advised not to wait until my planned trip at the beginning of May. She has some severe and painful medical challenges ahead if she survives much longer so we are hoping she can leave us peacefully with as little pain as possible.

My Dad died a few years ago and the realization has hit me that when Mom passes away then my brother and I will be the "oldsters" in our little family. The idea of having no one left who loved and remembers all about me from the day I was born is unsettling. I know though that I have been very fortunate to have parents who lived a very long time and until recently my Mom was fully present in and enjoying her life despite some health challenges.

Something positive has come out of the last two months of her illness as my brother and I have talked on the phone very frequently as we navigate through this time with him being in the same town as Mom and me far away. We have shared more about our thoughts, values, concerns and feelings than ever in our life. Fortunately we have also worked as a team with no difficulty and I have been able to find ways to contribute and share a bit of her care long distance. As a result we are closer than we have ever been in our lives at least from my perspective.

If you have become the eldest generation in your family recently through loss of a parent how has it changed your perspective?

5 comments:

  1. So sorry, Juhli... prayers going up for you & your family.

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    1. Thank you. She died suddenly yesterday afternoon. I am stunned and have postponed my trip.

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    2. I am so sorry. No matter how old we get or our parents get it is never easy to lose them. I was so touched by your comment that we lose someone who has known and loved us from the beginning. The older I get, the more I wish my parents were here.

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  2. I had never thought about the question Juhli. My mother passed away over ten years ago. I was an only child and as I think about it I remember how much I wished that I had a sibling to share memories with. It is as though part of me was and still is, missing.

    Take care. Mothers are very special to all of us and hopefully we can be as valuable to our children.

    b+

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    1. Thank you Barbara. My brother and I aren't yet to the sharing memories stage but soon we will be going through her house and I'm sure that will trigger many memories both shared and not. I'm looking forward to that part.

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