Saturday, June 6, 2009

Letting go

We've just returned from seeing the MIL. She's fighting and not letting go. She took a turn for the worst the other day and it looks like she won't be here much longer.

I want her to know it's ok to go but it's not really my place to tell her so. For a few decades now when she's had to fly somewhere she's called me to soothe herself into getting on the plane. There was a ritual we'd go thru, she'd ask me to tell it it was ok, she'd be ok, nothing bad would happen. It'd be over in a short while and she'd get to see her family (or whatever fun thing she was traveling to). She always thanked me for that, every time. She always told me she knew it was silly but without the reassurances she just couldn't do it.

The daughter held her right hand, I held her left. My son sat at the foot of the bed, the husband between the two kids. The boys sang although I could see my son was having a difficult time seeing his grammy that way and hearing her struggle. The daughter is more accepting, she has no problem holding her hand and stroking her arm to help her feel more connected.

It's hard to tell if she is responsive. She makes sound but it's almost always accompanied with a physical clenching. But that can also be she's trying to communicate but her limbs are unresponsive to voluntary movement...she has Parkinsons.

If my son does not want to go back, I won't force the issue. As much as he pretends let things roll off his back, he's always been way more sensitive than most people I know. As he grew to teendom, he filled that sensitivity with confidence but that sensitivity is still there.

As the boys sang songs, some of them having the words death or dying or soul or God, the lyrics take on new meaning while sitting with someone who is transitioning. Even the songs without obvious mentions of passing can be looked upon as having new meaning.

I wish she'd let go, I wish her kids would tell her to relax, let go, be at peace. She's always been afraid of new things but I think this new thing would be joyful for her, we'll all be ok. She needs to know that.

I love you Jean.

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