Dear Mary
My Mother-in-Law is Dying

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Dear Mary,

We just got the call, and my mother-in-law is dying.  Although this is not a complete surprise, we are still in a state of disbelief and shock.  We are packing up the kids and the car for the 3 hour trip to the hospital where she is.

I will spend the whole trip on the road thinking about my sister-in-law – the selfish bitch.  We will of course see her at the hospital and it has been years since we talked.  She just makes my blood boil.    I don’t think that I can even stand to look at her, let alone sit in the hospital room with her.  We have such bad memories and such evil words between us.  How do I look her in the eye without wanting to bunch her in the eye?

Donna

 

Hi Donna:

GROW UP!

This is one of the most stressful, sad times in a family.  Emotions are running wild, everyone is numb. It is a time for peace, not fighting.  Instead of thinking of all the bad history between you and your sister-in-law, think about how you can show respect to her – after all it is her mother who is dying.  

You do not need to go into the hospital to work through or try to solve old issues.  You need to go in to the hospital with an attitude of support and love.  People will be watching the two of you and your actions will affect everyone.  Your kids too will be watching to see how you handle the situation.  What examples of behaviour are you teaching them?

When you see your sister-in-law, express how sad it is that she is losing her mother.  If you cannot stand being in the same room with her, then don’t.  Your job is to add value and not to complicate a very sad situation.  Your husband will be glad that you showed respect to the situation.  Change your behaviour and create a new journey for yourself.  You will be proud that you did and others will appreciate your sense of giving and kindness.  If you do not change your attitude during this time, you will show that you are not capable of growth or change.  Is that how people will remember you, on your death bed?

Good luck on your journey, and I am not referring to your 3 hour road trip!

Mary

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Caregiving Matters

Mary is a daughter. She also Chairs our charity. Mary has also held Director roles on three other boards, most recently with The Palcare Network of York Region.

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