Grace at work in suffering

I mentioned earlier today that I feel our Mum is willingly going through an extended Calvary experience for the sake of our family, Dad first of all, offering it up for us. I do not pretend to understand suffering or want to suggest that it is in itself "good", or to be wished for. It is not. Though I do believe that good can come from it through the way that a person lives their suffering. 


Mum seems to be drinking just enough water and medication to keep herself alive for now. She has been bed-bound for nearly 5 years now, due in part to the cumulative effects of epilepsy drugs she has had to take for nearly 30 years, following a brain tumour which left her epileptic. She has had many highs and lows these past 4 years (we thought she was near her end back in 2007... that's a whole other story - and an incredible one at that - which I hope to get round to telling sometime), but this time it does look different. She is barely conscious, has refused all solid foods for many weeks, drinks very little and is only sipping a minimum amount of fluids and epilepsy drugs. She has been under the care of a palliative team for a couple of months now. She is also having regular massive fits, sometimes lasting over 4 hours. If it wasn't for an incredibly strong heart, she would have died long ago. 


Having been on a subcutaneous drip during these past 2 months, this has had to be removed. She therefore runs the risk of dehydration. Her veins are now collapsing. The doctors have asked that we recommend that if she did go into cardiac arrest that we allow them not to resuscitate her. This has been accepted by the family.


It would seem that she is enduring a very slow, drawn out death and probably very painful death. As you can imagine, this is also very hard for our family to deal with, especially living so far away from both our parents.


I can imagine that for Dad this is a kind of purgatory, and I mean that seriously... seeing Mum going through this is I think having a purifying effect on him. Everything is being stripped away from him, all his defences, all the comfort blanket defences of possessions and money, etc... (even if he hasn't been able to make active use of these for a few years now due to being himself wheelchair-bound through Parkinson's, psychologically he has still been clinging to them) and his wounds are being healed... till all that's left is love, and especially his love for her. I've seen it in his face and demeanour the last few times I have been with them.


Our mother is a real saint... a REAL saint. I can't elaborate here, but trust me. She is a truly remarkable person and one whose faith is greater than that of any person I know. God has worked through her already at so many different times in her life (including back in 2007, when through her a reconciliation occurred between 2 members of our family) and I know he is working through her now. But the waiting... waiting... is very hard.


Two of my brothers and sisters are going over to be with them both in a few days time. I will probably be the next to go over soon after them. But, only God knows when it will be time for her to go. Maybe this will only happen when Dad is ready to let her go. Maybe God has plans for her yet. All we can do is pray for her, for them both, for the whole family, and entrust us all to God's caring embrace. 


Let his will be done.
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