Wednesday, May 2, 2007

On Change & Grieving

Isn't odd how we can grieve good things? Change is so often good, for us, for others. Yet we can feel even the best things as a loss. I suppose it is a loss; change means things won't be the same. Perhaps that's what we grieve. We grieve because things are different and we had just grown used to how things were one second ago.... :-)

There is a change in my life, and I have found myself grieving, EVEN THOUGH I know it to be: best, right, and God-ordained. Proves I'm human, I guess.

See, I have a sister who is handicapped, both physically and mentally (though to what degree is undeterminable). My parents have sacrificed (though they wouldn't term it this way) her whole life to take care of her very significant needs. But the time has come for that to change, for them to take care of her needs in a different way. Last Friday, my sister entered a long-term care facility.

(Now, firstly, let me just address all of our immediate reactions. This is a good home. I know this is a great place, because I have worked there on three separate occasions (that's a looong story). I still keep in touch with some of the staff there, individuals who have been there 15, 20, 25 years. They provide excellent care, and if you have to go anywhere, this is the place to go.)

Our family isn't abandoning my sister. All of us would give up our current lives to take care of her if that is what was needed. But the truth is, at this time, this is a better place for her. The staff there has the time and resources to meet all of her needs without straining them emotionally or physically. This placement puts her in a place where she is free to socialize more, and she is a very social person. This is much more stimulation, activity, and therapy in this one place than my parents could provide even if that was their full-time job.

But we still feel sad. Even though we know that this is a better arrangement for my parents, who have been raising children for 35 years without break or respite. It will allow their time with her to be quality time. It will allow their poor strained bodies to recover a bit. It will allow them to just enjoy one another in a way they haven't for many, many years.

But still, I feel sad. It doesn't even make sense to me. Why be sad over a good thing? But I am. And somehow, I know that that's okay, it's normal, it's even right somehow. But even as I try to sort it out here, I cannot put it into words. Perhaps time will filter my feeling enough for words to be applied.

I don't only feel sad, mind you. I am so happy for my sister and for my parents. This is a good, God thing.

But this is the place where I share and process, so the part that is here is my grief. It's not bad, and it's not forever. But that's where I am today.

Just wanted to share. -J

(c) 2007

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