April 7th, 2021

alliswell

Podcasts and thoughts on caring and dying

I think it's amazing how life nudges you to the sources that you need at a particular time in your life. I've been thinking about my Mum and dealing with the immense guilt that I feel, about being here in Switzerland, not able to help her. I feel so sad that because of COVID and restrictions she was alone in hospital and in a temporary care home, without anyone or anything she recognized. Whilst she recognized Dad when they were reunited a few weeks back, it seems now as though she is retreating into herself and we're not sure who if anyone, she still recognizes. My brother Christ, saw her last week and she didn't appear to recognize him. It really is heartbreaking and I just don't know how to deal with my grief and my feelings about, other than writing here. I feel we've let her down. She spent so much of her life caring for us, caring for her Mum and her Mum-in-law, teaching kids, being part of Guides her whole life. And then and know when she most needed us, we weren't able to help.

Anyway, this week, i've listened to three podcasts (and on the back of that bought 3 books on the topic of caring, death, grieving. I guess it is understandable that in the midst of this, I am also going through my own mid-life musings. What have I achieved? What will Alan and I do when we retire? have we saved enough money? Why don't we have property? And then I look at my blogs and my photos and feel so grateful for the life that i have had up to now....
I'm tagging these blogs about my mum and about my feelings, "grief".

I listened to Greg Wise on this Channel 4 podcast, talking about his sister who died of cancer aged 51 and how we was able to care for her until she died. They wrote a book together called "Not that kind of love".

Then I listened to Dr Kathryna Mannix on this podcast. She's a palliative doctor and has written and broadcast about death and end of life care. In the podcast she emphasized: "Sometimes being practical is better than sacrifice when it comes to caring". She also argues that we should understand the processes and stages of death better and start talking to each other about how we want to die. I've also bought her book "With The End In Mind" book and she has a website.
Here's the transcript of the podcast.

And finally I listened to the author Kate Mosse talk about her writing and her life as a carer. She wants carers to be better recognized and she talks lovingly about the act of caring. I've pre-ordered her book, "An extra pair of hands" on caring, engaging, everyday acts of love.