Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Anger, sadness and acceptance
Yesterday, I was caught up in angry feelings that turned to sadness. I felt ashamed for feeling angry towards the parents-in-law and their problems. I felt ashamed for being angry at my wife because she is doing all she can for them. I felt ashamed for being angry that things weren't the way they once were. It was a childish and selfish anger.
Things are not the way that they used to be. My mother-in-law is going downhill mentally and physically. The nurse who comes to their house to do therapy with her has noticed the decline in just a week. The caregivers see her decline every day. She is showing signs of dementia, often making no sense when she talks. At night, she gets no sleep because she rings a bell and yells "Hello" over and over. No one else gets any sleep either, including my father-in-law.
This will be the first Christmas since we were married that they won't be here. Last year, Pop drove here, and they stayed for most of the day. To see how far down they have gone in health is astounding. I know that I am grieving what is happening to them. And I know that anger is a part of all of the "process". But sometimes, like yesterday, the irrationality of living and dying gets the best of me.
Poor C.--she stays stoic and tired. Her passivity for all of this is also something that angers me. I know that she is numbed by what is happening. But she has a hard time expressing what she feels. She has had such mixed feelings for her parents over the years. They shuttled her off to boarding schools, while the impact of drinking made a war zone at home. I would like to take her away from all of this, go somewhere special, forget about the sadness for a while, but I cannot. I know that she can't either. We both have to see this through to the end.
So I went for a walk and cried for the loss of what was. I then took a nap, helped C. with baking cookies, went to a meeting and felt peace.
Accepting the things I cannot change--I need to think about that every day. I say the serenity prayer at every meeting. I say it to myself when things get to be too much. I need to live it today.
Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don't resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.― Lao Tzu
Posted by Syd at 12/21/2011 08:19:00 AM