08:03 – Things are not going well with Barbara’s parents. Her dad is doing okay physically and mentally, about as well as can be expected, but Barbara’s mom can’t cope with the fact that Barbara’s dad is going to die sooner or later, probably sooner. Her mom told Barbara yesterday that she needs someone to stay with her 24 hours a day, which just isn’t going to happen. Her mom is desperate to do something, anything, to keep Barbara’s dad from dying, even though there’s obviously nothing at all she or anyone else can do. So she pesters Barbara’s dad constantly, making his life miserable, ordering him to do this or that or not to do the other thing. Her mom hovers over her dad every minute, determined to control a situation that’s uncontrollable.
The stress on Barbara and her sister is incredible. I told Barbara last night that she and Frances need to give top priority to maintaining their own physical and mental well-being. The two of them working together are just barely able to keep a lid on the situation now. One or the other of them is over there every day, sometimes both of them, and sometimes more than once. If one of them breaks under the strain, things will be unmanageable.
I told Barbara last night that I’m hoping that for Barbara’s mom anticipation turns out to be worse than the reality. That is, I’m hoping that when Barbara’s dad does eventually die, her mother will finally accept reality and be able to grieve and then get on with her own life. But for now the situation is pure torture for everyone involved.