Here lately, I’ve been hearing the unfortunate stories of caregivers and their sibling squabbles during and after their parents depart this fine world of ours. Even after hearing so many of these heart-wrenching tales I’m still blown away when I hear yet one more.
As if caring for a loved one is not difficult by itself some of us have to deal with sibling rivalry and the dynamics of either having to be the main caregiver and none of our siblings helping out or fighting over whose going to take care of mom or dad. Then there is the question “Who is going to get what, when they pass?”. Sometimes we can calmly discuss these issues and sometimes they become arguments.
One of my dear, new friends told me recently that her siblings are no longer speaking to her since her parents have passed. My thought on this? Our parents may not be around forever, but our siblings will and should be here to continue on this journey of life alongside us (I suppose this is in a perfect world) and these times of difficulty should only cause us to come together and cause our relationships to become stronger. But unfortunately, that isn’t always the way it is.
Even in my own life I have had plenty of “stuff”and I have lost it. Then I found a way to have more “stuff” again and the cycle of life continues for some reason or the other.
In the past ten years or so after having gone through a divorce after eighteen years of marriage, I decided to walk away and leave it all. It meant more to me to find peace in my life than having “stuff” without peace. I can remember crying on my fortieth birthday and saying “Here I am forty years old and all I have are my clothes that I own and my car and I’m living back at mom and dads.” Yet again, I found a way to gain all and more on my own.
Years ago I can remember thinking “One day I’ll have my dream car – a black Mercedes” and I even found a way to make that happen, on my own. That was one of the proudest moments I can remember. Man, I loved that car. It was sweet!
Roll on over to the last few years or so when both my husband and I were laid off of our jobs and we decided to move back to Illinois and move back into our house that we could not sell. These have been some of the toughest years financially and yes, last year I had to give my car up and that was so tough. But I wouldn’t trade anything for what I’ve gained and learned in the process.
When it comes down to it, it’s just “stuff” and we can have it and lose it and have it again. We’ve all heard it over and over in our lifetime “you can’t take it with you when you go”….and I think we suddenly realize this if either we are going through a traumatic experience, or dealing with a loved one who is dying, or whatever…and suddenly this point hits close to home.
So, what are you holding tightly to? What has become more important than cultivating the relationships of those with whom we’ve been entrusted? As we saw recently in the disaster in Japan, it could be gone in a flash!