December 1st, 2010

Despair

Helen

Helen passed her 81th birthday in hospital yesterday. She really could just have invited people to visit and not broken multiple bones to get attention. (Yes, that was my lame attempt at lame.) Anyway, it turns out she's been hiding a few things from us. She did not tell us she had her cat put down a couple of months ago (the cat had serious dementia), or that the next door neighbour has been doing her laundry. It turns out Helen has become a semi-invalid very quickly. There is no way she can stay in the house, but she once vowed she would not sell it and move into a home. At this point, I wouldn't mind if she just moved into an apartment with elevators instead of stairs. I dread having to deal with the necessary conversations. Even if I don't have to confront her directly, I dread the family fallout that is inevitably going to happen. She is very stubborn and unrealistic.

Just to add to the stress, my husband's ex-wife, and mother of my step-son, is going through similar problems with her parents, but it has required her to quit her job to care for them full-time. She has no money coming in and is going through her savings really quickly. My step-son is having to deal with the prospect of all three remaining grandparents declining rapidly at the same time. I'm worried about them (grandparents, ex-wife, and step-son) too.

I feel everyone's concerns and pain and give them whatever emotional support I can, but I'm beginning to feel like I could crack under this pressure.
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