In writing this post I am trying to be open, expressive and helpful while still respecting my mother’s privacy. Certainly a difficult balance but both aspects are important enough for me to give it a try.
Over the last few weeks, Mom declared that she wanted to die. She refused food, fluid and medication. She had conversations with my sister, the nurse and the social worker expressing that she was sorry for the mess she was leaving us in but she didn’t have a choice. When pressed, she couldn’t express why she wanted to die or what mess she was leaving us in. She went on about the financial mess and how it would ruin our marriages but she couldn’t explain further.
Several caregivers agreed with my opinion that this was not Mom talking. Finally, we all came together and my sister and I agreed to the decision to try to have Mom hospitalized even though we knew she wouldn’t agree. The doctor found a hospital with a qualified geriatric program that would admit her once she had medical clearance.
Mom went somewhat willingly.
Now the wait begins. Either we’ll have Mom back and she’ll live many more years with some level of independence, in relatively good health, perhaps even find some peace within herself or she will need institutional care at one level or another and we’ll all make adjustments to accept this new lifestyle.
There is not an experience in my life that I can draw on in order to comfort or inform. I am in the dark but mostly at ease. I am confident that we did the right thing and hope that my confidence will remain strong until it is confirmed.