One day I was getting ready to take my mom to visit a social worker for the first time and I decided about an hour before the appointment that it was a good time to tell her where we were going. I've found that it's not good to give too much information too soon.
She said, "I can't go."
I said, "Why not?"
She said, "because he's coming home and I have to be here when he gets home."
Oh, no. One hour is not enough time today.
"Mom, he passed away, he's not coming home today."
She said, "What?"
"He died mom."
"When did that happen, and why didn't anyone tell me?"
"It happened six months ago."
"Six months, and nobody told me?"
"You were here with him when he passed away. You knew."
"No I didn't! Someone should have told me. How could anyone do that to a person?"
This dialog went on and on until I told her we had to go We had an appointment. She got in the car but she was crying just like the first day when he passed away.
This was not an unusual day. It happened at least once a day, and sometimes many times during the day. I remember one day I told her "Mom, at some point I'm going to have to tell you he's somewhere else because when I tell you he's gone you just don't remember it." She said "Maybe I just don't want to remember." I said, "Maybe."
So we finally made it to the social workers office and she saw how upset my mother was. She told me not to tell her that her husband passed away. I said, "What am I supposed to tell her?" She basically told me to be "creative."
I didn't know if I could do it. Lie to my mother on a daily basis after all the years of being told that lying to your mother is wrong.
I starting telling her he was on a hunting trip, that he'd be back in a few days.
The first few weeks were hardest. She'd ask me why didn't he tell her he was going? Why didn't he take her? I'd say "Oh, mom, you don't want to go fishing with a bunch of guys, do you?" I couldn't look her in the eye.
I called her Neurologist to get a second opinion. I thought maybe he would tell me to stop being "creative." But he didn't. He told me NOT to tell her that her husband was dead anymore. It was NOT going to help her condition at all.
So, I have continued to be "creative" for the past couple of months and he has been on hunting trips, and fishing trips.
She waits at the door for him to get home everyday. I tell her I don't think he's coming today. He'll probably be gone a few more days, or, maybe he'll be back tomorrow.
She packs a bag everyday and sets it by the door so she'll be ready.
When I try to get her to go out of the house just to go to the store she won't go because she's afraid he will come to get her and she won't be here. Sometimes we leave him a note that we'll be right back.
If she hears a car outside she thinks it must be him coming to get her. Some days she thinks he took the grand kids with him and is worried that he hasn't brought them back yet and wonders where they have been so long. I have to comfort her and tell her not to worry about the kids, that he probably already dropped them off at home.
I'm tired of being "creative". Some days it's all I can do not to say, "I'm sorry mom, he's not coming home anymore. He's gone." But if I do, I know I'll be right back where we began. And I have to keep reminding myself that was much worse.
I keep thinking about that old saying "Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive............
Would you lie for the good of another person?