My Absent Family

Question: My mother was diagnosed with Stage 4 Ovarian Cancer 2 months ago and has been given very little time to live. I’m shocked at how quickly she’s deteriorating and how little the rest of the family is doing to help. She has 2 brothers and a sister and they might call but they rarely show up and always have an excuse. I’m overwhelmed and angry. I’m 42, I have a husband and kids so I understand how busy we can all get but I can’t get over how removed they seem to be right now. I don’t know how I’m ever going to look at them again. What do I do?

Answer: You know what I learned when my parents were dying? There will be people who talk a good game and there will be people who show up and DO. There are only two categories.

I learned that sickness makes people uncomfortable. That the idea of it stirs empathy but that walking into your home and actually seeing what sickness looks like causes most people to flee.

Your mother makes others question their own mortality. She has become the face of Cancer and that just isn’t what most people can deal with.

“THEY”, family or not, aren’t worth your time. At. All.

But my parents dying also showed me how incredible strangers could be. It showed me how friends can turn into family. And it proved to me that some people really mean it when they say, “I’ll be there”.

You have enough to deal with right now. Your mother is dying. Nothing else matters honey. FUCK THEM. And I mean that. Concentrate on her. Your only mission right now is to make the end of her life peaceful and calm and full of love.

Let the guilt, that will inevitably follow, be their karma. They will have to live with that forever. YOU on the other hand will spend the rest of your life knowing that your mother helped to guide you into this world and you helped to guide her into her next…..Nothing else matters, I promise you.

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