This interview with Jane Gross really hit home for me. My brother and I were in a very similar situation after our mother (widowed and thus reliant on us) suffered a major stroke and became bed-ridden. Gross' point is well taken that the dymanics of the family of origin re-institute themselves in these instances, but instead of it being an invitation to healing, it was for our family at least, the cause of division. Let me explain - the vast bulk of my mother's care fell to me, as my brother kept the entire situation at arm's length and had his wife fulfill his part (which was very little) in caring for my mother. After nearly a year of constant caregiving, I asked my brother and his wife if they would give me a weekend "off" and care for her. His reply was that they "spent weekends together, so that would be out of the question."
Eventually my mother died and our lives went back to our new normal, but my relationship with my only sibling has been forever changed. We rarely see one another although we live within a few miles of each other. Still, my mother and I did experience tremendous healing of our rather rocky relationship, mostly through hours of discussion about incidents that as a child I had misunderstood. Suffice to say that I wouldn't trade this difficult time for a moment, but it was a mixed bag of healing and hurts.
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