My stepfather died last week surrounded by those who loved him. We each held a physical part of him (finger, toe, hand, foot, arm, face) as he transitioned from this world. His funeral was Sunday. Because he was a devoted caregiver to my mother, who is quite incapacitated with Parkinsons, my mother and he have been able to sustain relative independence in their own home. My mother needs 24/7 care, so we have had to search for the right facility for her. This has been an intense and dramatic, emotional and manic, stressful and busy week.
My brother, sister, and I actually did quite well–working together, making decisions, planning, strategizing, and dividing the work to be done. There was only one major meltdown regarding my mother’s future care needs— the three of us getting mad at each other, crying, yelling. Once we realized that a piece of the meltdown was our own emotional responses to the transition of our mother to nursing care, once we were able to name that, our relationship quickly healed.
My mother will move into her care facility on Monday in the state of Michigan and then I will move into the tangled and thorny state of processing.