Wednesday, January 15, 2014

What Happens When Grandmother Has a Stroke...


(This is a difficult post to write. If my immediate family sees this, they might get angry... But please read until the end... Even in this mis-fortune our loved one brings us good things...)

My mother-in-law had a stroke. Her condition is rapidly declining... She hasn't long on this earth. I thank God she isn't in pain.

I will miss her. She was always kind and good to me and a very fair person. If there is a heaven, I know she is going there.

The immediate family shudders under the stress. They become irritated at how each other handles grief... What should they do when the matriarch is dying? What will they do when the glue, the love, that held the family together for so many decades disappears?

I try to help anyway I can... But there's not much I can do but listen and try to make things a bit more convenient...

Friends send condolences...

I remind everyone and myself of an old story: 

"An ancient Zen Buddhist story goes like this: 

A very wealthy family in China bought a large farm and built a beautiful home, a 'palace' upon it. 

They wished for good luck, health, and fortune, so they decided to ask a famous Zen priest to write a scroll for them to hang in their den. After meeting the entire family and discussing the scroll, the priest accepted the job and went back to his shrine to pray for enlightenment. 

After a few days, the priest returned with the finished scroll and the entire family gathered around in great anticipation to see the words of good luck and fortune that the priest had written for them. 

The priest said a short prayer for all and then proudly opened the scroll and hung it on the wall. 

The scroll said: 


"Grandfather dies. Father dies. Son dies. Grandson dies." 

The entire family was furious at the priest. The elders were shocked and enraged! The younger ones were at the brink of violence. 

They all shouted and demanded that the priest go back to the shrine and rewrite the scroll for them. 

Rolling up the scroll, the priest sighed and said: 

"I will rewrite the order of names on the scroll in anyway you wish. But I think there can be no other sequence. If all die in this order, I think that is true prosperity."


・ ・ ・ ・ ・

My mother-in-law had a stroke. Her condition is rapidly declining... She hasn't long on this earth.

I believe that, age-wise, I am next in line... 

As it should be....


The family grieves and supports anyway they can... They are spending important time together. When I shot this photo, my daughter asked why I did that. I replied, "In a way, I envy you all. You get to spend this time together and hold her hand and say the things you want and need to say. My mother died suddenly and painfully in a freak car accident, I wasn't able to be with her in her last hours. So, like I said, in a way, I envy you all. Everything happens for a reason. Good things can come from this too if you try to find them."

3 comments:

Andrew Joseph said...

Well Mike... sorry about the family troubles... but going out age-wise... your parents went before grandmother.
While I certainly hope for a long life for your wife and kids, I do think it is too early to start planning any funerals... even your grandmother's... though you are correct, she will go eventually.
You know my mother died youngish... at an age I will hit in five years... unlike you, my goal is to get past that milestone/millstone and then, as long as I am not a burden, reach my still living father's eventual age. It does suck that I take after my mother, though.
Mike... listen to the family... do not tell people that death is inevitable. We know it is, but people condition themselves from having to admit its truth.
best of luck to you all, my friend.

Anonymous said...

Mike, I had a stroke in DECEMBER, 2012, SO i KNOW ALL ABOUT THE ARDUOUS PASSAGE CALLED RECOVERY THAT LIES AHEAD FOR YOUR WIFE'S MOTHER. BUT i ALSO KNOW THAT IT CAN HAPPEN, SO i WOULD ADVISE YOU TO POSTPONE YOUR GRIEVING UNTIL YOU KNOW FOR SURE, AND UNDERSTAND THAT SHE WILL GAIN MUCH STRENGTH THROUGH YOUR LOVE AND COMPASSION; MY EXPERIENCE TAUGHT ME A GREAT LESSON ABOUT THE VALUE OF FAMILY AND FRIENDS IN
A CRISIS.

Jon of Afghanistan said...

Hang in there Mike and may you live a long time but under no circumstance longer than your children.