Letting Mom Go
I have a 93-year-old mom and a 91-year old dog, and they both have bad vision and bad hips.
Lately I've come to the realization that I'm trying to keep them healthy and alive for as long as I can and I do anything that I think could possibly do that.
My mom's hip has been giving her a lot of trouble and now she walks with a walker. You would have to know my mom to understand how hard this is to accept.
The one-liner that has always described her is "she runs circles around us." She was vibrant with energy until this last year, and things have deteriorated rapidly. Her mind is slipping, her vision is minimal, she sleeps in her chair, she eats junk food and doesn't drink enough water.
Last week she felt light-headed a couple of times and her hip was really bad so I made a doctor appointment. The appointment was today but this morning she told me she wasn't going to go and I should cancel it.
I have decided to quit arguing with her. She is on her way out, slowly but surely, as is my old dog. I know this in my mind, but I have to believe it in my heart, and I have to start living it.
I have to start letting go of both of them and accepting that they are going to die and I can't keep them alive forever. I think my mom accepts this more than I do.
I have been holding on so tightly for so long that when I accept this in my heart, I break down and cry. I cry from the sadness of losing them and I cry from the exhaustion of trying so hard to keep them.
It feels like a whole new level of caregiving. Now that I begin to accept their end, I can see a blurry vision down the road of my life continuing on and what that will bring.
Even though it's sad, I'm glad to have arrived at this realization because I think it will enable me to be there for my mom as she approaches the end of her life and I think it will help me grieve while she is still here with me.