My brother lives next to our mother
Eric, 64 years old, single, has lived his whole life not far from our mother, 89 years old. My brother, now retired, takes care of her. He was 15 and I was 10 when our father died. For my part, I “made my life” with a husband and three children. Éric recently told me that he had the impression of missing out on his existence. However, he does not support me when I suggest that our mother enter a retirement home near my home, fifty kilometers away from theirs. Will he be able to live without her? Agnes
THE POINT OF VIEW OF MARCEL RUFO, PEDOPSYCHIATRIST
DUE to the early death of your father, your brother linked his existence to that of your mother, to the point that today a distance of fifty kilometers seems insurmountable to him. Eric has an emotional blockage and you must understand that he cannot listen to what seems to be the voice of reason (if your mother is indeed involved in the decision to enter a retirement home). I detect behind your question, Agnès, the concern that the prospect of your mother’s disappearance inspires in you. What would become of your brother then? We can indeed imagine his great dismay. Eric expressed to you the feeling of not having lived the life he would have wanted. This reflects both the trust he places in you and his ability to bounce back. Asking the question of having missed out on life when you still have good years ahead of you means that you seem willing to live it. Nothing is decided. A new stage is emerging for him. Community involvement, leisure activities and family life with your own children: you seem well placed to make proposals to your brother, without waiting for your mother to enter a retirement home.