Younger generations don’t often recognize the stress and trauma our elders endure when their spouse crosses over. It’s compounded in unbelievable ways when the one who remains behind falls one too many times and the children decide it is time to move them to an assisted care facility. Even when it makes sense, when it’s in the best interest of the elderly for their own safety, the emotional toll is worse than death.
Yesterday, I helped one such sweet lady escape her nice, safe, comfortable prison for a few hours to seek help from an alternative practitioner for the toll this stress had taken on her body. It was an emotional release that was a bit unexpected. She is such a strong woman, who has held it together and put on a happy face for everyone who walks through her door.
I had no idea her wounds were so fresh. I knew her husband had crossed over, but I didn’t realize how recently it had happened. And I didn’t realize how quickly she had been moved out of her home. I also didn’t realize that I was taking her on her first out-of-town trip since all of this had happened. It was overwhelming.
My heart breaks for her.
To my knowledge, these people are never given appropriate mental health support, only meds to help them sleep through the nightmares and forget how sucky life just got.
And grief counseling for a 90 year old?
Probably not gonna happen.
Oh, and I officially SUCK as a daughter-in-law.
Why is it easier for me to show compassion to someone else’s family than it is my own?
And why do we insist on keeping people alive when they really want to be allowed to go? Nature tends to create multiple opportunities for their escape, yet we believe we are doing them a favor by treating the illness instead of letting it take them.
I just don’t know how I feel about it.