Friday, March 09, 2007

An Observation

I find extended families curious, and the way they function will always be novel to me since I didn’t grow up in one. I have observed over the years that my Jordanian family feels obliged to live much of their lives publicly or secretively because there has been little space or opportunity for privacy in the past. Or maybe it’s just all part of the culture.

Regardless, several times someone closely related to my husband has been diagnosed with a life threatening or debilitating disease. Since I’m a nurse, I often suspect that something serious may be going on, and I am concerned. However, when I finally hear what the diagnosis is, it is usually indirectly, months later, and then I’m told in the strictest confidence. I find this unfair because I feel that my sympathy and support aren’t wanted, even though I know better. I sense that the immediate family feels threatened somehow and that possibly they are attaching a certain amount of guilt to the diagnosis. How sad that is. Illness and death are part of life. I feel that postponing the news from other family members is shutting out a strong base of support for the patient, his care-givers, and his loved ones. Caring support shouldn’t be ignored or squandered.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

This must be an exception.
Most of my Jordanian frends speak openly about illnesses, deseases like cancer or cardiac problems in their families.

Thursday, March 29, 2007  

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