Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Thanks for being Dead

I've been holding off on this one for some time because of what it contains. I at first found it difficult to understand but time has afforded me the opportunity to see that what's good for the Goose isn't necessarily good for the Gander or the Gosling or anyone in the Gaggle for that matter. Everyone has their own needs, wants, likes, dislikes and everyone is thankful for something different; some thankful they have it and some thankful they don't.
They had been taking care of her mother for the last thirty three years and initially it was no problem at all. The three of them lived as if they were all joined at the hips and very rarely were they seen without at least one other although most times they travelled in a pack. They did all the things that families do. They still lived together and I was told that in the earlier years they did everything together, they shopped together, they went to church together, they ate out together, they vacationed together; there was almost nothing that they didn't do together. You get the picture.
I knew these people for seven years before they came to see me professionally and from all outward signs they always appeared happy. Little did I or anyone else know that these were not great years for any of them to say the least. As a matter of fact the last twenty odd years were "hell" as they called it. According to both the daughter of this woman and her son in law, although they loved the mother and she always acted sweetly in front of "strangers", when behind closed doors she was a "sour bitch", someone you could easily hate. They also told me that their mother made no bones about the fact that she thought the same about them and reminded them of it daily.
It was obvious to me that there was something that kept these people together all of those years but I just couldn't pinpoint it. Sure they were family but I don't know how long I would have lived that way. I'm sure there are some people, especially at this time of year, who wish for the family that these people appeared to have had but after talking to them I just don't know if it would really be worth it. One of the comments that was made to me was in the form of a question and I simply had no answer. "How could we have divorced mother?".
Long story short, they're "thankful that she's dead". At first I thought that this was the most selfish and cruel comment I had ever heard but I guess they have the right to feel the way they want, and do, rightfully so or not. I know there are many sides to every story I hear and in this instance I would have loved to have heard the mothers version of her life but I never will. I tend to believe that their story is a bit biased and all I can imagine is that if their mother now had the capacity to voice her side of it, she'd probably be "thankful that she's dead" too.
So as you can see, thankfulness comes in many varieties and no one can tell any of us what we should or shouldn't be grateful for until they have lived our lives themselves.


paisley said...

is it just me... or is this theme reminiscent of a lovely piece of work i published on the ink pot?????

"let me go"

Stealth said...

That's sad. I hope I never feel that way about anyone.

Matty said...

That is so sad...seems to me those people could have been happier alone and their mom might have been a lot happier in a senior group with her peers. Some people just like to be miserable and make everyone else miserable as well.
I don't know what kept them together...was it 'sense of duty' guilt..or money. We'll never know.
Makes one think though! Thanks.

deathsweep said...

Paisley, very astute!

Stealth, I agree, I hope I never feel that way either.

Matty, I myself thought it was the latter, money, but as we both agree we'll never really know.

Hungry Ghost said...

I actually had a chuckle at the line "...I'm sure there are some people, especially at this time of year, who wish for the family that these people appeared to have had." I always envied a friend of mine - her family were like the Brady's. Only thing, we found out later the mother was a drunk and the father was playing around with his clients (a divorce attorney).