The last month has been a roller coaster ride for our family and I have to admit I’m struggling. For those who follow my blog you may know that we live downstairs from my parents-in-law and have done for the last 8 years.
Nonna recently turned 90 plus her 70th wedding anniversary and we had a celebration – I even wrote a post about it – Our Nonna Celebrates 90 years.
Unfortunately, celebration turned to sadness as the very the next day my father-in-law was taken ill and hospitalised and my mother-in-law contracted shingles plus was recovering from two fractured ribs. She was then hosptialised and it was a race to have her well enough to attend the funeral and to see her beloved husband just one last time to say goodbye.
The last two weeks has been filled with sadness as we farewelled our father-in-law at 89 years of age. He passed away peacefully on 26 June, however, has now left a partner of 70 years wondering what will happen to her.
Life is certainly a struggle at the moment as my husband and I try to cope with looking after his grieving Mum and providing assurances that we won’t leave her. Of course, the conversation of how and where she will live the rest of her life has to take place – but not at this moment.
I have not shed a tear, or had time to grieve. I feel isolated and an overwhelming feeling of living in a vacuum. I don’t really want to talk to anyone – even my husband. I’m on auto pilot as we take each day and my usual upbeat style has taken a nose dive.
I feel a fraud as I write about positivity yet here I am feeling ‘down’.
I have not been able to focus on my blog or have the ability to write anything until today. My grandson is asleep and I am on my own. I open my laptop and the words have started to spill out onto the screen. Maybe this is my way of coping.
I am feeling selfish and having ‘I’m sorry for myself’ moments because I’m not sure if I want to look after my mother-in-law and yet I don’t want to abandon her. I’m asking myself ‘when is it our time to enjoy life?’ Then I feel guilty for feeling selfish and wanting to spend some alone time with my husband. The future is uncertain for us all at the moment.
Thank God for exercise – my personal trainer and my Saturday Sisters who I run with have been a great support. Even though I don’t feel like doing it my body and mind feels uplifted after a PT session or a long run – it actually works – even though I have been saying this for a long time.
I know that this feeling will pass. I just need to be patient and give myself time.
I know that we will not abandon her but certainly we will discuss future options which will be to her benefit. When she was in hospital she was bright and to an extent happy because she was surrounded by people and she had someone to talk to all day. We need to find a good balance for her and also my husband and I.
I know that my relationship with my husband is strong and I will do all I can to support him through this difficult time. He hasn’t really had time to grieve either and I know that must come.
I know that many others experience exactly what I am feeling at the moment.
I know that it is okay to accept that I am struggling, and to do what I can to make life easier at the moment and just take each day as it comes.
I know that I have family and friends who love and support me.
I know that Life is good – even though it might not feel that way at the moment.
Life will get better – I will get better!
Have you experienced a major life struggle? Have you had an aging parent? I’d love to hear what coping strategies you used to get through it.