Letting go of emotional entanglements
Lisa’s eventual recovery was nothing short of miraculous, and even her doctor marvelled at the swift return of her vigour. Her transcendent relationship with God was not only light in her darkest, most desperate hour, but it also helped to assuage a deep-seated guilt. One of losing her mother.
In her twilight years, Lisa’s late mother had debilitating health, and she suffered a host of illnesses, from diabetes to high blood pressure. She was also wizened by cancer and multiple strokes. Her behaviour took a radical turn: at relatives and the family’s helper she often spewed accusations of theft.
While staying with Lisa’s brother in Malaysia, her mother took a fall, which went unreported by the helper who feared repercussions. She developed a swelling in the brain, and her behaviour became even more eccentric, which Lisa and her brothers chalked it up to the symptoms of her other illnesses. It was only when she started conversing in Malay that they knew was something not right — she was not fluent in Malay! [Editor’s note: This is likely caused by aphasia, an impairment of language following a stroke or head trauma.] Her mother was rushed to the hospital; she never walked through that door.
Many nights Lisa dreamt of her late mother, and many rivers of tears she would cry. The heft of losing her mother, coupled with a welter of regret and self-blame that she had failed as a daughter, haunted Lisa. “I hated myself for not paying more attention to my mother when she needed me the most. I could not forgive myself, and this burden ate at me and drove me crazy.”