Sunday, 3 October 2010

My Mother Died August 17th

It was a difficult death. My summer is a nightmare blur. Alzheimer's Disease takes away every scratch of dignity that one had during life. This was my second time going through it - my father-in-law had AD and lived with us for the last 5 months of his life. This was my mother and it was much, much worse. To see her trying so hard to maintain her sense of herself, to try and make herself understood was almost too much to bear. We got through it, but it was not easy for any of us. I may or may not write more about it at a later date, but for now, it is enough to know that my mother is much better off. It was a blessing when she finally died. We can now track the AD back to about 8 or 9 years ago at least. It was slowly disintegrating her mind. She had been such a vital, active person all her life and it was only in the last two years that it severely impaired her. But she was almost 92 and still didn't look like she was a day over 75. She had had one of those lives that was marked with one tragedy after another, yet she picked herself up and kept on going - sometimes with great difficulty - when my father died, it was a blow from which she almost didn't recover. She loved her grandchildren and got joy from her great grandchildren. She loved her daughters but was more afraid for us than we could have ever understood. As I have said before, we knew little about her past - we know a lot more now. Near the end, I spent over an hour with her in my arms; she was sobbing and wanted her mother. It was not easy.

If I could have taken this term off of work, I would have. I am feeling terribly non-social these days, but slowly as work starts to invigorate me, I am getting back on my feet.

I will try to get back to blogging - it should help refocus my energies. There is a lot of other writing to do that is not blog stuff. This is a start.

No matter how hard we try, we can't resurrect the dead

Christianity in all its forms is not going away anytime soon. I stay on the fringes of the religious system because it is/was my cultural heritage. My life experience meant that God died. It took me over 40 years to have the funeral – so I spent all those years grieving. If I can change even one small thing in someone’s life that helps them live with more peace, then that is good. People don’t interpret my Psalm of Anger the way I do – but their interpretations are valid because they are based on their own experiences – they bring to it their own past, and they take away from it, their own solutions. Sometimes those solutions surprise me, and I wonder how they got there. I spent too many years trying to get “god” back (or bring god back to life) to ever not understand that many people need to believe and do believe. My spirituality revolves around the on-going process of understanding the interrelationships in my life. These are what are critical to my existence.

I also hope that some of my writings will help those die-hard Christians understand that it is just not that easy. For many of us, God in his Christian guise died - maybe belief in any form of divinity died. Thomas Doyle understands and feels that it is one of the worst legacies of the child abuse scandal. (See his book on the 2000 year legacy of sexual child abuse in the RC church) We cannot go back. Our life experiences will not let us ever go back. We have to fashion meaning in this life differently. We do not even have the luxury that those brought up without belief have - we are haunted by the belief systems that we grew up in.

I no longer feel haunted by my religious past, but it took me decades to get here. I am looking forward to reading Ian Gurvitz' Deconstructing God: A Heretic's Case for Religion. Human beings seem to require belief systems to give life meaning. Look for a review once I have read the book.