People deal with grief in different ways. There is no right or wrong way, and no one has the right to force their view on how to deal with personal grief on someone else.
We are faced with a situation right now where a family member is out of country and another family member, living here, is struggling with a deadly illness. She is in the advanced stages and there is no chance to overcome, or beat the illness.
Everyone knows this.
The struggle for those of us who are here, nearby, and those who are not, is equally challenging. Many people think that coming home should be a priority for those who are currently far away.
Come home now, before it’s too late, is the general thought process.
You don’t want to carry regret around with you for the rest of your life, is another powerful one.
But is it up to us to tell others what to do? Is it up to us insist they follow along with our views of how they should act in a tragic situation like this?
Can anyone force someone else to come home against their will?
Being a logical, practical person, and having the ability to communicate with the out of country family member via social media, I took a logical, practical approach despite urgency from some other well-meaning people to force the issue.
Instead of forcing her to come home now, I presented facts. I presented them with compassion (I hope I succeeded with this), but without sugar-coating.
The person who has to make the decision to fly home should do so based on the facts (time is of essence here) and of her own free will.
How do I know whether she wants to face the current situation, or preserve a much happier, healthier image in her mind by deciding not to come? It is not up to me to decide for her.
It’s challenging no matter how you look at it, for all of us.
But I stand by my decision to present factual information, and support her no matter how it will be handled.
I have many examples I could write about, but choose not to at this time. Perhaps this will turn into a series…we have, after all, children who are facing this situation too, and they need to be navigated differently from the adults.
For now, I will focus on staying on my current path of providing factual information in a timely manner, and keeping an eye on our kids.