Grandma: Your mother killed my son.
Grandma: Dis-ease causes disease.
10 year-old: I don’t understand.
Grandma: Your mother was cruel to your father. She gave him the cancer.
This real-life horror story points to the sad fact that some families fall apart when a member is ill or dying. Families are in constant struggle when a family member is in need of special care. Some families grow closer together and some do not.
The first question we were asked when we went to a pediatric psychiatrist for our son was “How is your marriage?”
- A wife blames a husband for their child’s illness. They were his genes that the child inherited.
- A husband or wife falls apart emotionally. The marriage ends.
- The siblings are lost. Their brother or sister is ill or dying and now their parents are unapproachable because they are involved in their own personal arguments.
A friend who is being treated for a life-threatening illness told us, “[My family fights and] I must constantly learn to live with it. I believe that this has destroyed my family. We were the closest of families ever; no fighting no nothing then my dad left and everyone separated.
“It’s hard for everyone to deal with. That’s why I always have to be the strongest for myself and my family to keep going…
“But until I’m locked up and trapped [in the hospital], [I will enjoy my free time.] Tonight I will be at the Red Hot Chili Peppers [concert] with the best woman in the world my mama!!! Thank goodness I have her because shes such a cheerleader for me and the person I can count on for anything.
“Yeah, I’m not sure how our family is working. Seems like most of the time its everyone hating everyone [else] only to put pressure on me to keep us together . I’m the only one who talks somewhat to everyone. It’ll all work itself out though. I hope one day when I really need everyone they will show up and come together and realize we all need each other still.”