seabream (seabream) wrote,

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Caution, Care, and Communication

I'm a cautious person, conservative when it comes to risk taking. When under the influence of strong emotion I am wary of acting, of doing something ill considered. The phrase 'in the heat of the moment' is a thing of some horror to me. This is partly by way of explanation of why I shut down most participation in online dialogue for about eight months.

My sole remaining grandparent is and has been in particularly ill health of late - in and out of hospital a few times, organ failure, heart valve infection, stroke like symptoms, etc…etc… none of which are all that unexpected in a person less than a decade from being a centenarian, and it could certainly be worse. Care is not all-consuming, but certainly consumes a lot. There's a loss of connection, neither of us can really recognize the other anymore. There are generational/cultural issues around behavioural norms for care, ethical issues around responsibility for past behaviour affecting how to relate to the person there now. There's seeing the effects of care, emotional stress, the not knowing (multiple instances of death in days being likely will do that too) on other family. The draining effect has also been a factor in not saying much. It's been difficult. It is difficult.

I am aware that others whose situations are worse have certainly responded differently in ways one could say are better socially speaking. Kudos to them.

I'm not writing this because it's over, or for sympathy, but I do have things I want to say now, people I want to stay in touch with (I have been following along mostly), and energy to do so for the moment. I just had to say this first or it would have felt like a sort of lying. I think... I'm okay for conversation again.

And that's about all I feel comfortable saying on a public blog. Yes there's a lot that's been left out. Not that I don't want to talk about it. I could see talking being helpful - but more in e-mail or verbal format. I'm going to take expressions of general support and sympathy as having been made because I think I know you well enough to take a degree of empathy as a given, and thank you in advance, in order to save you from trying to think of a way to say it that isn't trite, or emptied of meaning by force of repetition. Expressions of specific support, anecdotes, offers of conversation, words of advice I might not have heard or need reminding of are of course welcome. If I'm mistaken about someone and they are delighted or have an otherwise unusual reaction to this situation, I won't necessarily feel good about it but I would prefer it if I knew so that I could update my mental model of that person accordingly, so don't feel restricted to only saying things that are in the normal realm of appropriate.

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Tags: family, health, personal, social

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