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Fear of loosing loved ones

We all fear losing people we love. It is completely natural. Sometimes we even think that we can stop it from happening. We act protectively and become controlling towards those we fear losing the most.

I recently visited my 85-year-old mother who lives on the other side of the country. I travel to see her at least 3 times a year, if not more. This last visit I could really sense her deterioration and it broke my heart. I know she will not live forever and that thought scares me to death. During my visit I was sharp with her at times. Arguing about how to use her cane correctly, or what changes to make at home to increase safety and fall prevention. I was telling her to take her pills on time and make sure she drinks lots of water. There were times where she even got really frustrated at me and I felt bad for upsetting her. She already feels overwhelmed living on her own and having the responsibility of the household. All I was doing was adding to that anxiety.

My husband, watching this interaction, kindly sat me down. In a loving manner, he firmly reminded me that I cannot stop my mother from dying regardless of my actions and that treating her like a child only makes things worse for everyone. Instead, I need to enjoy her company, laugh, make memories, and allow her to maintain whatever dignity and independence she feels that she has left.

Enjoy the moments you have with your loved ones and do not succumb to your own fears. It is ok to be scared, but do not let that fear steal away your peace and joy with the ones you love.

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