We met with Alan, the Hospice counselor, today.
On our way to Hospice Jon-Daniel sat with his arms crossed muttering “I don’t need to see anyone” under his breath. “I am like you Oumie. We don’t talk…”
“Yeah” I said. “But I really think the time has come for us to talk to someone. Besides it is part of the Hospice thing. We have to do it!”
“The whole day I was thinking of shrink jokes” Jared said. “Do you think I can ask him ‘how does this make you feel?‘”
We all laughed.
“Guys if we don’t talk to the counselor we may have to come back…. Let’s answer all the questions and get it over and done with….” I cautioned
Alan is a short young man. I think he is in his early thirty’s. We shook hands and he asked us how we wanted to “do it?”
The boys went in on their own. I sat in the waiting room saying a little prayer that they would open up to this professional stranger who is an expert in dealing with death. Thirty minutes later I was invited in.
“The boys tell me they are coping well. They don’t see the reason for seeing me…..What do you think? Are you guys coping?”
I was truly taken aback. “Yes, I think we are coping. ”
“So Tersia, why do you think the boys need to see me?”
I did not speak for a couple of minutes. I was grappling with my brain as to how much I should tell this stranger.
“I think the emotional roller coaster is getting to us. We have said our goodbyes so many times and Vic always bounces back!” I eventually said.
“Yes, Jon-Daniel said so” Alan replied.
“I worry that the boys live in a home where death lingers. There is not enough laughter in our home. It saddens me when they stand next to their Mom’s bed and I see the helplessness in their eyes!” I mused
“I get impatient with Vic. When she has half a breath she will organize a party. When the pain medication works she will not pace herself. She will hurt herself and then I have to pick up the pieces. Sometimes I am scared that her suffering will not end. ” I continued.
“What type of party will she organize?” Alan asked.
The boys and I laughed!
“It is only a figure of speech….” we explained. “She will try and do things with the boys and hurt herself.”
“What type of things?” Alan asked
“Drive and take us for a milkshake” Jared replied.
“Mom forgets things and she thinks we are all against her… Yesterday she said to me that I must not feel guilty if she dies and I am cross with her…Mom always thinks we are fighting with her….” Jon-Daniel said.
“It is not about the final moments. It is not the final words or even the final disagreement. It is about the life and all the years of loving before death and dying…. You must not ever blame yourself for anything. Life is hard for all of you right now. It is okay to be scared and to get irritated. You must tell your Mom how you feel. I am not saying you must back-chat. What I am saying is that you must tell your Mom how her actions and illness makes you feel. The household consists of more than one person…. You all have the right to living…”
The boys asked to see Alan for another session…. Thank you God for another angel!
8 thoughts on “Hospice counseling….”
He seems very wise. It’s good the boys want to see him again.
It is amazing! They have not responded to their school counselors at all. I am so relieved.
i am so glad you found a counselor that clicked from the beginning. that can make all the difference. it’s fascinating to me that we all deal with this so differently. i decided not to put my family through the roller coaster of this dying thing and i can do that in my situation. having children in the home would raise this to a whole new level. as it is when we visit our grandchildren our daughter and son-in-law remind them that i am fragile. it is so sweet how they can be so concerned and kind. my grandson has asked me some very detailed questions about my heart and the pills i take. we have talked about the injections i take and how that medicine works and where it comes from. he is nine yrs. old and so sensitive. my granddaughter will tell me how they are going to be quiet if i am sleeping. i can only imagine how frustrating and confusing it is for your family.
my husband has expressed the same concerns you have over your daughter pushing too hard when she does feel better. it is so important to me when i do have a good day to get out or make dinner, even doing laundry makes me happy. it is a reminder that i am still me. while i see your point and his, i know how vic feels and know that for me it is worth the price i pay afterward to have that time where i feel like the old me. the me before.
my heart goes out to you all and say a little prayer for your continued wisdom and love.
Thank you for visiting and your kind remarks. At nine children start understanding death. The boys watch me like a hawk and actually read the severity of the days situation in my actions. Please remember that your husband wants you around for as long as possible and that is why he is concerned with you overdoing things. I would rather spend an extra half-an-hour chatting with Vic than eat a meal she so lovingly cooked. Take care. I pray for you too every day.
Children are very wise. And pragmatic too. I think they cope with everything (probably better than most adults) except for unfairness and lies.
You all seem to be doing all right through difficult times. Just be kind to yourselves.
Thank you Pat!
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