This is a tough one. I just read an article about siblings who have very different responses to their mother going through the changes that Alzheimer’s brings.
One is ultra attentive, another won’t visit.
Is one the more appropriate response?
At first blush it’s tempting to say that the attentive sibling is doing the ‘right’ thing. However, if we go past the surface, not to the psyche, but to the soul, we may better understand or allow people to do what they need to do.
The siblings in this scenario are exercising their choices. And the areas of choice abound: To go or not to go. To accept the other’s decision or not to accept the other’s decision. To feel good about the choice or feel bad about the choice. To allow what other’s think influence my actions or not. Etc. etc.
What if you’re the attentive sibling? Are you going to choose to feel resentment, or will compassion for the sibling who is not attentive prevail? Are you going to choose to shift your feelings about your sibling, and if so, to a more negative or a more positive view?
What if you’re the sibling who isn’t visiting mom? Are you going to honor your feelings, or be eaten away by guilt? Are you going to avoid addressing it or stand up for your decision? Will you feel appreciation for your sibling or bitterness?
What if you’re the mom? Since people with Alzheimer’s reside in a mysterious place, I won’t pretend to know what choices exist, however I trust life enough to believe it would not leave us totally choice-less!
For today, or this minute or this nano-second, accept that others do what they do. Don’t analyze why, don’t put a right or wrong or good or bad label on it, don’t even try to understand it. Just accept that this IS.
Next lesson: Now what? We’ll explore that further on. For now, get used to accepting.