Dramatic Times of Life
Previously I’ve spoken about how being peri-menopausal had affected my life and the fact that even though my mother before me, struggled through her menopause, as did my grandmother, but they never gave me the tools to be able to cope with this dramatic stage of life on my own. Menopause has always seemed to be a taboo subject, but I for one, wish that the steps we make these days, what with the recognition of signs and symptoms and celebrities highlighting the fact that we are becoming more comfortable in talking about these kinds of things. Although inevitably, if we were taught these things when we were younger, they wouldn’t cause such issues when we’re trying to survive day to day?
The Ins and Outs at Departure Time
Death. Another thing I wish I’d learned about how to handle at school. I know it’s not the most comfortable subject to talk about, but since my mother resides in a dementia care home, I have been forced to look at just what happens when she passes away.
Many times, I’ve tried to shut myself off when I’ve been asked how I want them to deal with my elderly mother’s body when the time comes as it makes my anxiety terrible thinking about it. But it is my duty, as her next of kin (although that is my estranged sister’s job in all fairness) is to make sure that everything is in place when the inevitable happens and she rides off into the sunset once and for all. Regardless of if I want to speak about it or not, there still has to be a plan of action given to the care home as well as a copy supplied to Social Services on everything she wants to happen but all in my own words.
It’s bad enough to think that I have to imagine what my Mum would have wanted since when she was of sound mind, never actually informed me how she wants me to deal with the situation. Let alone what I have to do when the time comes as I’ll probably be so overwhelmed I imagine I’d forget half of it anyway.
A Celebration of Life
Much like when someone falls ill and dies, the Western World, unlike its Asian counterparts, fails to celebrate these passings as a means to higher ground. In Asian culture, the departure is used as a celebration of the life of the individual or a new beginning for their spiritual energy. We, however, are thrust into a subject that leaves us grieving for what was, what we had with that individual. It’s the end. The final journey. Our culture can make us feel so out of our depths that we don’t fully understand what is available and what choices we have when we are put in that position of responsibility.
I was barely in a fit state after my Dad’s passing to remember just what my Mum did and didn’t do, so leaving it all to me through no fault of hers of course (damned dementia) would leave me in a quandary. Thankfully, to save me getting it all wrong when it’s time to say goodbye, SunLife has a guide on what to do when someone passes away. Plus super handy checklists to keep everything running smoothly (and hopefully in order) which you can download and read at your leisure at a time when you’re probably feeling a little too overwhelmed to deal with everything at once.