Friday, February 27, 2009

"I Need Help"

Daughter came into the den shortly after she had gone to bed last night, sobbing. "I need help."
.
"What's wrong?"
.
"It's the voices, they're back."
.
"What are they saying?"
.
"They're not saying anything. They're showing me terrible pictures of the whole family dying."
.
I gently explained that when you have one family member who is dying, it naturally raises fears that other family members may die, too. I talked about how sometimes when I'm dealing with lots of people in the hospital, I will come home afraid there will be a message that one of our family members is in the hospital. She wants this to be over. I told her everyday that Granddad is still with us is a gift, but to her, it feels like a stress, as she waits for the inevitable. I explained that this could go on for weeks or months.
.
She told me we should be up there with him. I pointed out that when we're there, she wants to be home in her routine. I told her that is also natural, no matter where we are right now, we feel like we should be someplace else.
.
I've walked with so many families through this over the years. I've explained these dynamics to so many people. It's different, though, when it's my own family, and it's my daughter and father who are suffering. I remember a woman who was dying of cancer. Her daughters took turns coming to stay with her. The last week of her life was long and painful. I remember them asking me why she didn't die. What was she waiting for? I shared their frustration, and told them we can't predict life and death, and God's time is not our time. A friend who had been out of town came to visit her. The woman tried to respond to her friend's voice after several days of being unresponsive. Her friend left her with the words, "Good bye, R, you've been a good friend." The woman was dead shortly after her friend left.
.
Mom was discharged yesterday. I've wondered if maybe Dad was wanting to see her one more time. I don't know. He goes to the doctor today. He told Sister he'd lost 2 lbs. Sister said he's also more confused, and is frustrated that he can't remember what day it is.
.
Daughter went off to the workshop today. I hope they have things to keep her busy. If they don't provide her with structure and activity, she'll sit and worry and it will be a very long day for every one involved. I expect to hear from her today. Tonight I think we'll go to City. She needs blood work and we have some shopping we need to do. The best help I can give her right now is to assure her that what she's experiencing is normal and to give her other things on which to focus. For now, focusing on her grief diverts me from my own. I'll have to face it at some point, too.

4 comments:

Linda B. said...

Reading what you have said to your daughter helps me so much too. My daughter tells me at night that she keeps seeing scarey pictures in her head and can't make them stop. She also has bad dreams about our family getting hurt by our 16 yr old. You see, Dec 23 our 16 yr old was put in residential treatment for behavior issues, hurting me and running away. I didn't know what to say to her. My 9 yr old does have a therapy appt set up but that's not for another month. Thank you for writing about your family, you are going through so much. I am holding you and your daughter up in prayer too.

Reverend Mom said...

Linda, I'm glad our experiences are helping. I remember when you sent your daughter to residential, and I'm sure it is very hard on everyone. When my Daughter was young, we had a whole routine we went through at bedtime. I'd tell her she was safe and assure her no one was going to hurt her. Even so, for years she slept in my bedroom, because she didn't feel safe in her own. I hope and pray you and your daughter will both find some peace. Thanks for your prayers. I think that prayers are what are keeping me going right now.

FAScinated said...

Please know that you are being wrapped in prayer today. ~Kari

Reverend Mom said...

Thank you, Kari, those prayer carried me through the day. I hope you have survived the slumber party!