A dear friend lost her mother today. She had been care worn for a couple of months now tending to her ailing mother. Her mother suffered from brain tumour which had relapsed and had affected her neuro motor abilities in many ways. For the last few weeks my friend had been oscillating with feelings of pity, anxiety, irritability, guilt and helplessness at her mother’s condition.
Death, especially of a loved one, someone you have known all your life can be a cathartic experience.
A mother is someone you grow up seeing as a young person , strong and powerful and then over time as you move on to embrace adulthood and middle age, time catches up and then you watch them slowly grow hunched, senile, helpless and old.
My friend and I talked. We were talking after a long time. She told me it had been an emotionally and physically draining phase for her. But as she spoke, she said she had realized the bright side of what she was going through.
This is an experience that brings one to look at one’s own life, thinking of one’s own vulnerabilities and suffering that is in store for us in our old age.
That reflection is an experience young and middle aged people in western countries largely miss out on. Retirement communities where the elderly get relegated to once they are unable to care for themselves, would largely shield from the outside world the suffering especially the emotional suffering that the elderly go through as they approach the final stages of their life.
As much as caring for an ailing elderly person can be a financial and emotional strain for other family members, caring for the elderly and watching them approach death prepares us for our own. And that is an invaluable experience. It reminds us of our own immortality and its inevitability. A reality about which we scarcely think of in the busy cacophony of our everyday lives.
I actually felt a relief for my friend. Relief for the agony that she had been going through. She would take some time to heal. But eventually even this shall pass.
When speaking to her she talked as though we had been talking to each other for years. She commiserated with me for the death of my grandmother and told me her experience was very similar to what I had written about and that she found solace in reading my account of it.
I was really touched and I think this was the moment my own self doubts were cleared about my potential to be a writer in my own right.
What better acknowledgement could a writer get than this. A long lost friend who seemed to know all about my life solely based on the blogs that I had been writing.
Thank you my dear friend …may you find peace and relief... and may my writer’s block clear up with this unintended compliment at the most unlikeliest of times.
Here is the blog : Whitefield 2010 – part of the A to Z challenge