Tired of Fighting

Barbara, I have a 23 year old daughter that has a chronic illness. She says she is tired of fighting. I don't want to lose her. I am lost.

Having our children hurt and struggling in life can be devastating for us parents. There is such a helpless and even hopeless feeling in watching our adult children with their challenges. When they were little we could kiss the hurt and make it better--- now what do we do? Kisses aren't enough.

As a parent of adult children, I have found that one of the hardest parts of our relationship is to support them in their choices when I would have chosen something different for them. I have learned the hard way that I can offer ideas but then must be quiet and let them make their own choices. They, and I, have to live with the consequences of those choices. Oh so tough for a parent to do. When it comes to life threatening situations we can still only offer our ideas, support, and love.

My suggestion is to keep her talking. Talk about how hard it is to live while being sick. Help her find joy in each day (even if the joy is so small she can barely find it). Help her avoid being isolated from others (too much time alone leads to dwelling on how hard life is, instead of finding good in the day that you have).

For you, find a friend to share your feelings with, one who will listen to you as you share your fears and frustrations. In helping your daughter find joy, you will also find it.

Remember LIFE is a terminal illness. We are, all of us, dying each day. It is what we DO with each individual day that has the value, not how many days we accumulate on this planet. I talk about how, in the parent's handbook, there is a rule that parents must die before their children. When that rule is threatened or gets broken the loss or idea of loss is incomprehensible.

Something more about tired of fighting...

I want to invite you over to my facebook group, End of Life Care and Bereavement. The group is filled with like-minded people who, if you want to share about your challenge, will respond with care and support.

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