Working at illness

Growing up, I was always removed from being around anyone who was terminally ill, but even the mere thought of hearing about someone’s  terminal illness would make me struggle emotionally.

I’m coping to act as a support to my father, but it is slowly becoming clear that because I deal with other things too, it’s beginning to take its toll on my digestive health. Unfortunately, when I’m dealing with any form of stress, my digestion is the first to go. As a child I didn’t deal with illness in the same way I’m dealing with it now. Of course my parents were ill from time to time, but they weren’t terminally ill.

I am not finding this easy. I find myself wishing I didn’t have this responsibility. Not having to deal with illness in this way as a child, has made all of this much harder, but even if I had, with all that I deal with I would have still struggled to get to this point, but I still believe that it’s good to be subjected to these things as children, if we are to manage as adults.

Seeing my father terminally ill reinforces that I am now all grown up. It’s too close to call. I don’t have my mother around me. Once my father goes, the responsibility lies with me, with no safety net to fall back on.

In the meantime, I continue to tell myself that I will do what I can. Whatever I can’t do, I’ll take a step back, or I’ll end up doing nothing at all. If I can do something that has to be better than doing nothing.


8 Mar, 2012

8 thoughts on “Working at illness

  1. I feel the same way. As a kid when my grandmother was terminally ill, I only saw her once in the beginning of the illness. I just could not bring myself to see her in that condition because I could not fix her.

    When I was 29 my grandfather was in the hospital and it brought back those feelings of helplessness.

    My mom has Parkinson’s Disease and still at 40 those feelings creep back. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to deal with “terminal illness.”

    1. Thanks Bill. It helps me to know that I am not alone and that you struggle too. I’m sorry for both of us.

      I’ll do what I feel I can do and that has to be okay. Others may possibly judge, but I don’t really care. It’s more important that I am comfortable with what I’m dealing with.

      It must be so hard you dealing with your mom right now. My thoughts are with you and hope you’re not struggling too much. I’m here for you.

  2. I know I went through a very hard time when my mother was passing away, which was made more difficult because it took her a long time to pass.

    It was just very difficult to deal with since I couldn’t fix her dementia or the hematome in her brain that finally did her in.

    It took me quite a while to finally learn to deal with what I could fix and what I couldn’t. Please just try to hang in there and remember to take care of yourself!

  3. As difficult a situation as it is, your father has made his choice and there is nothing you can now do about that.

    Being blunt, your priority is to look after yourself and your family, whilst continuing to do what you feel is right for you with your father.

  4. I was around my grandparents when I was growing up, so I was around when they were ill. My great grandparents were in their 90’s when they passed.

    That’s how kids around here were raised; being involved with our elders even if they were ill.

    I still think we have a hard time when it’s our parents that are ill, because they are supposed to take care of us. I think it’s all about growing up.

    1. I agree and you’re right. As you say it is harder when our parents become terminally ill because they are supposed to look after us.

      It’s probably not so bad when one parent’s still around us, but it’s much harder when it happens to both.

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