Broken hearted
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03-10-2014, 11:00 PM
Broken hearted
My mom is 89 years old. She was never very religious and only brought us to Sunday school as kids because she thought she should. She was always a very open minded woman and made no judgments of people about their religion or lack of religion. Mom is now having many health issues and dementia is setting in. My problem is my sister, a born again Baptist, who seems determined to convert my mother before her death. Mom is in a facility for physical rehab so she can go back home. Every day when I visit there are various Christian propaganda materials on her table and the TV is usually turned on to TBN. It makes me sick that at a time when my mother is facing her end of life and is stressed out enough she has a daughter, who along with her a-hole husband, is scaring her with hell and using her vulnerable state to try and convert her. There really is nothing I can do. My sister is Mom’s health care proxy and Mom lives with her. I want to confront my sister and I know I can deal with whatever she dishes out to me but I’m afraid of her husband. He is verbally abusive and although he has never been physical about it he always seems ready to explode. I’ve had run ins with him in the past and have dealt with it by avoiding him as much as possible but I know that anything I say to my sister he will know about in short order. I’m afraid if I rock the boat I could be pushed out of what is left of my mother’s life. Sis may preach about the love of god but when it comes down to it she has no compassion or respect for my mother. All she cares about is using my mother’s frailty to manipulate her into a death bed confession. She doesn’t seem to give a crap about Mom’s comfort or easing her burden as she faces what is probably the last few months of her life. I am beyond anger. My heart just hurts about what she is doing to our mother.
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03-10-2014, 11:15 PM (This post was last modified: 04-10-2014 05:40 AM by DLJ.)
RE: Broken hearted
Firstly, welcome to TTA.

Secondly, Hug
This is obviously a horrible situation to be facing.

I'm guessing that your sister is worried about your mother's afterlife. If she sincerely believes in such a thing, then it's probably likely that she is genuine and thinks she is doing the right thing.

Is your mother still lucid enough to tell you whether she believes in an afterlife? If so, may I suggest a plan that will de-stress a few things:

Let your sister and her husband do what they feel must be done because it will make them feel better.

For you and your mother, it can be a shared secret joke between you both ... so you will feel better knowing that you're helping your sister feel better.

Ask your mother to write down what she believes (or doesn't). In later years if your sister starts on (gloats) about how she 'saved' your mother, and you feel the need to prove a point, you can show her the evidence that you and your mother were having a joke.

Better still, because things may come to a head over funeral arrangements, ask your mother whether or not she wants a church service etc. and write that down too (and get it signed).

If your mother is aware of what's happening, this should be a rational conversation. Hoping so.

Hug

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04-10-2014, 10:44 AM
RE: Broken hearted
(03-10-2014 11:00 PM)Gina Wrote:  My mom is 89 years old. She was never very religious and only brought us to Sunday school as kids because she thought she should. She was always a very open minded woman and made no judgments of people about their religion or lack of religion. Mom is now having many health issues and dementia is setting in. My problem is my sister, a born again Baptist, who seems determined to convert my mother before her death. Mom is in a facility for physical rehab so she can go back home. Every day when I visit there are various Christian propaganda materials on her table and the TV is usually turned on to TBN. It makes me sick that at a time when my mother is facing her end of life and is stressed out enough she has a daughter, who along with her a-hole husband, is scaring her with hell and using her vulnerable state to try and convert her. There really is nothing I can do. My sister is Mom’s health care proxy and Mom lives with her. I want to confront my sister and I know I can deal with whatever she dishes out to me but I’m afraid of her husband. He is verbally abusive and although he has never been physical about it he always seems ready to explode. I’ve had run ins with him in the past and have dealt with it by avoiding him as much as possible but I know that anything I say to my sister he will know about in short order. I’m afraid if I rock the boat I could be pushed out of what is left of my mother’s life. Sis may preach about the love of god but when it comes down to it she has no compassion or respect for my mother. All she cares about is using my mother’s frailty to manipulate her into a death bed confession. She doesn’t seem to give a crap about Mom’s comfort or easing her burden as she faces what is probably the last few months of her life. I am beyond anger. My heart just hurts about what she is doing to our mother.

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04-10-2014, 12:33 PM
RE: Broken hearted
Your sis sounds exactly like my elderly evangelizing neighbor. She does the same to the hospitalized whom she knows. Small town life where one knows or kinda knows everyone. She will pray over someone until the patient is exhausted and too weak to tell her to leave. Because of this woman, should I predecease her I've given my lawyer orders to sue the hospital if she gets in my room. Patients can sign documentation to refuse people of the cloth. Nothing is done to stop this woman because she isn't a member of the cloth. I am to see my md. next week and get certain issues clarified should I again wind up in hospital. If a patient soon dies, she thrives on the belief this person accepted Jesus into their heart, thanks to her. I'd be tempted to mention it anyway and if her hubby so much as slaps you, charge him with assault. Sometimes they need that wakeup call. I suspect your sister has become religious as it's a support system for the abusive marriage she is in.
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04-10-2014, 12:39 PM
RE: Broken hearted
I've borrowed this and it probably says it better than I can.
Be a good listener

Pull your chair close. Give the ill person your full attention. Allow him to talk if he wants to. Avoid false cheerfulness–"everything will be all right" attitude. This denies the person the chance to share his fears and anxieties. He may be afraid of pain or frustrated at the thought of dying. One man had this concern, "Who’s going to care for my wife when I’m gone?"

If you can’t answer all questions, admit it. Some questions do not have answers at the time. It is more important for the ill person to verbalize his concerns than to receive answers.

People trying to push their beliefs are too busy talking to listen.
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