Prayer, suffering, life, courage, help, bear, illness, mental, physical,

My mother’s death

 

Last night, my mother died peacefully in her sleep. She was 102, and had been increasingly deaf, blind, bedridden, incontinent and confused for the last few years.  

On hearing the news early this morning, my initial reaction was one of relief that she isn’t suffering any more, though it’s too early to tell what feelings I might have in the longer term about her. I’ve spent many years in therapy working on the consequences of her behaviour towards me, so hopefully that will now help me to cope with her death.

My mother was a complicated, intelligent, energetic and demanding woman. She was very controlling, dominating, angry, frustrated, and emotionally abusive. Throughout, and beyond, my childhood, her unpredictable, explosive rages were utterly terrifying. During these uncontrolled episodes she was verbally aggressive towards those present, and could be could be violent and destructive towards objects nearby.

She was also a very selfish, manipulative and egotistical woman. Despite the efforts I made as an adult to talk to her about her behaviour, and the ways in which it has affected me, she always minimised it, never acknowledging, or apologising for, all the damage she caused.

Recently, I’ve been trying to forget the bad things she did, and to remember instead the good things about my childhood. However, the positives are so few, so undependable, and so short-lived, that I quickly gave up the effort, which felt artificial and unhelpful. 

Well, none of us is perfect. We all have many faults, including me. Fortunately, I started working hard to forgive my mother several years ago, and have continued to pray for her, and try to forgive her, every day. 

Some months ago, I spoke to her privately for the last time about her behaviour, its effects, and my forgiveness. However, by then, she was incapable of replying. I’m glad, though, that I was able to be completely honest with her, after a lifetime of anxiety, fear, dread, panic attacks, depression and physical illness caused by her abuse. May she rest in peace, at last.

 

References

Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us (Luke 11:4; NLT).

Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing (Luke 23:34; NLT).

We have all sinned against you (Jeremiah 14:20; NLT).

Advertisements
Standard
agoraphobia, depression, anxiety, chronic fatigue, cycling,, Personal growth, faith, prayer, contemplation, love, oneness,, Prayer

Agoraphobia diary: day 4

Hello to you all. Day four hasn’t been too bad, as expected. I checked out a couple of charity shops and my favourite kitchen outlet, then met my family for an extended exploration of Ely Cathedral. It’s surprising how distracting it is to pay close attention to two small children in a huge public space. Between us, we managed to watch the boys whilst gazing up and around sufficiently to take in something of our surroundings.

We had lunch in the busy Cathedral Cafe, then the boys had a run around outside on the grass. I was beginning to tire, and to long for a rest, but they wanted to show me their favourite charity shop. Again, I forgot myself for a while, helping one to read aloud from a big book about weapons and armour! The inner process of deciding how much further to push myself is a very delicate one. When I’m alone, of course, I only have to stay for as long as I wish!

Eventually, we had all had enough. I exerted myself to do my own very small amount of shopping, then returned to my room, where I immediately fell asleep. Today feels a bit like the calm before the storm. I’ve got used to my room, and feel safe there now, always pleased to return to quietness and rest. However, tomorrow I have to leave this new-found security behind, and move on to Leicestershire, where I will stay with my sister, and visit my 101-year old mother in her nursing home. Meanwhile, the train journey on Thursday morning is coming a little closer each day, and preying on my mind.

Today I realised that being completely honest about my fears has made it considerably easier for me to cope with the days with my family. So this became the subject of my prayer:

Real things

Lord,

I can speak
And write
About real things!

Real feelings,
Real anxieties,
Real fears!

I can be honest!
What a relief!
I’m not ashamed!

I make sense.
I do my best –
And life is good.

Standard
Prayer

Facing fears

Fear and trembling overwhelm me, and I can’t stop shaking (Psalm 55:5; NLT).

O Most High, when I am afraid, I put my trust in you (Psalm 56:2-3; NRSV).

You will be strong and free of fear (Job 11:15; NLT).

“I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10; NLT).


Lord,
When we avoid
Feared situations,
Places,
And people,
We feel relieved.

But that short-term relief
Rewards avoidance,
Making us more likely
To avoid our fears again,
The next time
They arise.

And, in the longer term,
The more we avoid,
The more our fears
Will grow and multiply,
Until they dominate
Our lives.

Please help us, bit by bit,
To face and conquer
Everything we dread, with you,
For then we will have life,
As you intend,
And have it to the full.

Through Jesus’ name,
Amen.

Standard