Helen’s Fostering Blog
Life can be tough sometimes
So, our family holiday was booked over a year in advance and we would be joined by my stepdaughter, sister, her partner, my brother and his wife and two nephews.
This was to be a special holiday as we had booked it after my Mum had passed away. We thought it might be nice for us to all have a holiday away together after having to cope with my Mum’s passing and with her long and drawn out demise caused by dementia for over 7 years.
For any of you who have experienced a loved one with dementia you will know how devastating it can be for the person themselves and those close to them. I had lost my Dad around 5 years prior to my Mum from heart disease so it had been a tough few years for us.
The other reason this holiday was so important was that my brother who had been diagnosed with Oesophagus Cancer back in 2014 and after many years of treatment was sadly given around 12 months to live in April 2018. It felt incredibly important for us to enjoy spending as much time with him as possible and help create some happy memories for his two boys who were 14 and 17 at the time.
Sadly by the time the holiday came round my brother’s health was really starting to decline and whilst the hospital discharged him just days before we went away he only managed a couple of days on holiday before he had no choice but to return to the UK and the hospital. This was devastating for us all and I personally felt completely heartbroken because I was acutely aware this would be our last holiday with him.
Obviously, this raised a lot of emotions for myself and my husband as we were aware the next few months were clearly going to be difficult for us as a family. We started to think about how we would cope and was now really the right time for us to be welcoming two children who understandably would need our undivided attention and time.
Was I emotionally stable enough to give them what they deserved? Eventually we agreed that we needed time to adjust and absorb the knowledge that the immediate future was clearly going to be emotionally difficult and it was important to deal with one thing at a time. We therefore asked our agency to put a hold on any possible referrals until further notice.
It is so important to be in-touch with your own feelings and be mindful about yourself. After about a month we had come to terms as much as anyone can that my brother was going to be very unwell and eventually, we would lose him.
We both agreed that cancer had already taken so much away from us, it was not going to stand in the way of us doing something as amazing as fostering.
Helen – A Blogging Foster Carer