Since late February, I have been dealing with what I have generically termed a health crisis. I won’t go into detail; there is still too much unknown, treatments still underway, doctors to be seen, tests to be performed, and surgeries to be considered. I will share that the condition I am dealing with is often paired with terms like “aneurysm”, “stroke” and the like. I have heard things like “if we were to operate here you would go deaf” and “if we did that surgery you may be paralyzed”. I have been, clearly, a wee bit stressed and a teeny bit emotional.
One of my first reactions was to reflect on how lucky I am to have my medical history. I wrote about that here. My second reaction was to take to the internet and do some research on my own. My third reaction, prompted by what I found on the internet involved losing my breath, crying, and sitting on my couch with a dazed and confused look on my face. I then thought about, really thought about, for the first time in my life, prematurely dying. While indications at this time do not suggest such things, the fact is I have had the worst health scare of my life to date, and as a result of that scare I ponder dying – and leaving my children – all three of them. Health scare or no health scare truth is I could die anytime. This is not morbid thinking it is reality and reality is a world I have always preferred to live in.
I have prepared for my sons well-being following an untimely demise. I have all the required legal documents prepared, stowed and communicated to essential parties. However, I did not prepare or communicate any wishes as they relate to my daughter.
Whilst deeply ensconced in this dark hallway of my mind, it occurs to me that should I actually die young (or even die old), my family will have no way, and more importantly, no permission to contact my daughter as a result of my dying wishes or even post-mortem for their own reasons. I can confidently state they would do nothing in that regard. Well, my husband might but I have not formally communicated my wishes to him and he would struggle to find her, I think. I have never given anyone her email, her adoptive home address, adoptive parent names, or her URLs. They might remember her amended surname but that may not be much help. It is not an unusual name. In fact, according to howmanyofme.com there are almost 500 people in the United States with her amended first and last name. The same site says there are 11 people in the United States with my name. I have no idea how accurate that random site is but knowing her somewhat common amended name compared to mine I suspect it is pretty close to accurate.
It was at this time my macabre thought train came to a complete stop and switched tracks. I decided I am going to communicate, soon, in writing and verbally, to my mother, younger sister and husband what I wish for them to do in the event of my death. Additionally, I am going to tell them (Mom and sister) that if they wish to contact her, on their own, prior to my death they are welcome to do so. What she says to them and what they say to her is between them. I am done brokering that relationship. While I never told them could NOT contact her, I never told them they could. I want all parties (she and my extended family) to be clear that any relationship or lack thereof between them now or after I die, is their choosing. Not mine.
I am not responsible for how they, all adults, choose to handle their business. I am only responsible for how I handle mine.