Robin Marantz Henig tells the powerful story of an aging brother and sister who chose elder mediation as a path to reconciliation in the Slate Magazine article “The Ties That Blind: Elder Mediators help brothers and sisters stop fighting and make decisions about aging parents” posted at Slate.com on Thursday, February 9, 2012.
Henig’s extensive research and penetrating insights provide a revealing view of the multi-decade long challenges faced by these siblings whose mutual suspicion and distrust had created a schism that prevented a functional working relationship even when the welfare of their beloved 98-year-old mother was at issue. With the help of Vermont-based elder mediators Neal Rodar and Susanne Terry, the beginnings of understanding and a will to repair the relationship began. Though the ending was tragic, a level of peace, previously unattainable, was achieved.
As for the obstacles that sometimes prevent siblings from engaging an elder mediator, Henig quotes Mom Always Liked You Best co-author Blair Trippe. “If I make up with my sister,” one client said to Trippe, “how are we going to relate? What are we going to fight about if we can’t fight over the house?” The full text of the piece is available at: