JewBu Quest: From Abuse to Happiness

JewBu: a Jew who practices forms of Buddhist meditation & spirituality. This blog documents my quest to 1) heal from sexual, verbal, and emotional abuse, 2) come to terms with losing Mom and Grandma to Alzheimers, 3) find balance, explore the spiritual, stay present. Bascially, I've experienced some pretty crappy shit in my life and want to find a way to move past it and find happiness.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Visiting Mom

So, I've come for my last visit to see Mom. I was worried to go see her and have to deal with the newest declines, but I was happily surprised to find that she responded to me in a way that she hadn't in a long time. I came around dinner time and fed her dinner. There was music on next to her, and she really enjoyed that. She made faces at me and smiled. Sometimes, when she wouldn't eat, I'd sing a bit and then she'd take another bite.

I came again tonight to feed her. This time I brought one of her favorite take-outs - Boston Market. She was super tired though, and I really had to struggle to get her to eat. She couldn't keep her focus. I didn't want to push her too hard because I've been told not to do that - that if she doesn't eat that its a sign that she wants to die or that it might be uncomfortable to eat and the she shouldn't be forced. On the other hand, I wanted to make sure that I fed her well, so it was a bit confusing on what to do exactly.

I think that I'll try again and this time get something really good - like crab cakes from the Cheesecake factory. And maybe a piece of cheesecake too. Something I know she really really likes. Its just hard too because the food gets cold because it takes so long to get her to eat.

Its a bit strange to be feeding my mother like this. She can't use her legs at all and is in a reclining wheelchair now. She's supposed to have a neck brace put on her when its meal time to help her keep her head up, but I just couldn't get myself to put that on her. Its so hard to get used to.

I met with my local Rabbi also and was comforted to find out more about what the mourning process will look like -- at least in terms of the Jewish framework for what is to be done. The rabbi told me something really interesting - that the goal or purpose for the framework is not to avoid celebrations, as I had read, but to avoid the trivial and to focus instead on honoring my mother. Jewish tradition is such that the mourning rituals for a parent last for an entire year. So, I should avoid making plans to go to concerts or the opera or vacations. It'll kind of be having my life on hold. And no big party for graduation. I'll have to rethink these things. But, most of all, I think that I should just not plan much for the next year or so.

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Blogger April_optimist said...

Big (((hugs))). Thinking of you and your mother and knowing this is a difficult time for you.

Friday, July 18, 2008 1:43:00 PM  
Blogger Gail Rae said...

My guess is that you probably won't want to plan much for a year or so after your mom dies (assuming she's still alive at this commenting. But, you know, I thought of something in regard to celebrating and honoring the life of the one who's died: Your mother is a great fan of musicals. My guess is that her enjoyment has extended to seeing them in a theater. What better way to celebrate your mother than to attend to musical productions that you know she would have liked...and, as you do, contemplate your mother's taste in music and what it says about her character. This, I think, would not be considered frivolous entertainment, assuming you are seriously considering following Jewish dictates for mourning.

Sunday, August 03, 2008 8:54:00 PM  
Blogger Karma said...

I could see going to see a performance that my mother would enjoy -- the thing is that those types of performances are different than the ones that are coming up. But I'm going to stick with the plan - not planning much, focusing on honoring her, and seeing how I feel as I get there.

Monday, August 04, 2008 6:42:00 AM  

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