Discussions with the kids

As a parent, I know that I will have to have uncomfortable discussions with my kids – things like “You’ve hurt their feelings, you need to apologize.” or “You will still have to face the consequences of your actions – even though it was an accident, even though you’ve apologized.” or “Let me tell you about what happens to a person when they are about 12 years old.”

But those topics of discussion now seem easy as pie compared to the conversations I’ve had with my kids this week. I’ve joined each one of them in their counseling sessions to discuss these questions:

* What do you envision for the end of your Dad’s life? Do you picture Dad dying at home or in a hospital/hospice facility?

* Do you want to be right there with Dad when he takes his last breath? Or would you be more comfortable being somewhere else?

* How would you like to be told that Dad has died?

* Do you want to see Dad’s body after he has died?

After being privy to each of their counseling sessions as they’ve explored these questions individually, I am emotionally exhausted. Each of them has made their wishes known and now as the mom, I am left with the charge of trying to help each of them experience this in the best way possible. Oh, how I wish they all would have had the same answers!

How do I accomodate three different pictures of how Tim’s death is to be experienced, four if I get to put mine in there? I know that I can’t make it happen to meet their exact criteria, and yet I hope that however everything plays out, it will work out in the end.

Lord, you know exactly what each of us needs. Please work all things together for good for those that love you. Help each one of us look to you for our strength to make it through the upcoming days. As we think about what will be happening soon, help us to focus on Your glory. Be our solid rock, yet open your gentle arms for us to receive your comfort.

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