Charlotte61 Posted August 19, 2010 Report Share Posted August 19, 2010 My mother (now 80) has been ill with liver failure for four years and is now very close to death. She now has a bowel obstruction and is being moved into palliative care at the local hospital. There is nothing more they can do but give her medication for the pain, which is making her almost comatose, and hope the obstruction relieves itself. I have been grieving on and off since Mom was first diagnosed in 2006 and we learned that her condition was progressive and ultimately fatal...in fact, back then, no one dreamed she'd live another four years. At the time, I almost had a mental breakdown and couldn't function for two months, but over the years I've gradually come to accept that her death is inevitable. And she did quite well until about 1 1/2 years ago, and then she started going steadily downhill. It's been a long, continual decline every since. She spent five weeks in hospital last fall and this time has been in hospital for six weeks and probably won't ever come out again. Even if the intestinal blockage relieves itself and she comes out of palliative care again, she'll have to go into long term care because she's lost her mobility and has dementia. My family and I are preparing ourselves for the worst (although this isn't the first time we've done so over the years, and she's surprised us before). I have some questions about the grieving process. I find myself keeping as busy as possible so I don't have to think about losing Mom too much. I can't just sit and do nothing...I have to be busy and occupied all the time. I've packed the upcoming weekend with things to do and people to see. I've been told that it's important to feel and process all your feelings, and not avoid them with excessive busy-ness...but I find if I sit around and think about losing Mom too much, and open myself up to feeling grief and sadness, I start sinking into serious depression. (I'm already prone to anxiety and depression and have been on low dose anti-depressants for years.) Keeping busy and occupied is the only way I can think of to keep myself from becoming too depressed to function. Yet I don't want to set myself up for illness later becase I haven't processed my grief properly. In short, there seem to be two schools of thoughts about grieving -- one says it's important to experience and express all your feelings, and the other says to stay busy and think positive. Can anyone share their thoughts on what's best? Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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