Issues and Illness

I have always known how important it is for us to deal with personal issues before the person we have an issue with is no longer around. Working through my father’s illness taught me that.

A few years after my mum passed, my father was told he had lymphoma. Because my spiritual beliefs were so strong I knew he would be okay, but I did struggle with the stress of having to work around his illness. My father would never admit, but I know he knows he wasn’t the easiest of patients, the pressure was already on, for us to take care of him.

I have never coped around illness, and now I know it has everything to do with my sensory issues. My being around someone with a terminal illness can create a visual stimulation that causes fear in me that’s often hard to deal with.

I was more distraught when my mum was terminally ill, than I was with my father’s illness. I struggled to grasp the fact that she may not survive and I would have to see her deteriorate in front of my very eyes. I was also younger and my relationship with her was different.

It is only when a loved one is faced with a terminal illness that we realise how many unresolved issues we have and coping with the illness is made more difficult, if we haven’t dealt with our issues. But unless we say something, it’s too late once they’re gone. It is important we speak our truth, to leave unresolved issues because we’re afraid to say what those are, means we will continue to live with those issues long after our loved ones have gone.

If you have a close-knit family and have very few issues to address, it’s perhaps easier. It’s not something we’re always lucky to have, particularly if you grew up in a household where you weren’t encouraged to talk about things and show others how you feel.

Dealing with family members who don’t talk can be difficult, even harder trying to talk about an issue with a family member who has a terminal illness, particularly if they’re not interested and don’t want to talk, or bring closure.

If someone doesn’t want to talk about their issues before their terminal illness diagnosis, the odds are them being ill won’t make a difference. When our parents don’t talk about things, it can make it easier for us to understand how important it is for us to talk.

Thankfully, although I didn’t manage to go into any great detail, I did manage to address my non-diagnosis. Now I won’t look back and feel remorseful that I didn’t say anything.

4 Mar, 2013

6 thoughts on “Issues and Illness

  1. Great post. I totally agree with you.

    There are some issues I need to address with my mom but I never get a chance cause someone else is always around. It’s never just her and me right now. I’m thinking of making a card that says all the things I want to say but I really don’t want others to see it. It’s nothing bad.

    There are some other issues I should address with her but I’ve addressed them before and we always end up arguing and I don’t want to argue with her. She knows how I feel about things with my daughter and to some extent that satisfies me.

    I’m so glad you talked things out. I know you feel so much better about things. People need to address things before it’s to late. Don’t wait until the other person is on their death bed.

    1. Thanks Lisa. I’ve really nothing more to add! Your last sentence will resonate with many of us I’m sure. We must address issues before it’s too late.

  2. Thankfully with my mother we had a good relationship and at the end we did not have any unresolved issues.

    With my father however, there will likely be some things that I do not wish to address. This may change however if I get brave enough to say what I think before he passes. Only time will tell.

    I will deal with that when I feel it is necessary for me to do so. It is difficult. I know you have made peace. Good for you. Very brave.

    1. Thanks Randy. I think you’ll work it out as you go along. If it’s important enough for you, you’ll deal with whatever you need to say before your father passes.

      I felt it was important to address my own thoughts and I’m so pleased I did. It’s peace of mind if anything.

  3. You’re very lucky in that aspect since I didn’t have a chance to do that with my mother before she was lost due to her dementia!

    I can’t really do it with my father either since I think he’s really in his own little world now and doesn’t seem to comprehend things anymore.

    I’ve dealt with a lot of issues that have crippled me emotionally so that my life has been very chaotic to say the least. I have allowed others to control my life to the point that I haven’t had one since I was a teenager.

    There are times when I feel like I should be going through puberty rather than being at the age of having a mid-life crisis. It just irritates me to no end that I gave up on so much in my life due to my fears, doubts and insecurities.

    Now all I want to do is try to really grow up, so that I can at least try to help my daughter do better in her life, so she doesn’t end up wasting so much of it like I did!

    1. Randy, I’m not sure how much of this is down to you. We don’t consciously allow others to control our lives, usually we have no choice in the matter. That is my experience and from what you say is sounds like it’s your experience too!

      Perhaps you could write your father a letter and tell him how you feel about things. It’s not something you have to send to him, you could read the letter through then burn it. At one point I am sure I remember doing the same thing.

      Emotional growth is so important. When we’re held back emotionally because of the control element we don’t have a chance to grow, so I can understand your feelings now.

      I hope you sort your feelings out soon. You deserve it.

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