It’s surprisingly cool this morning. We had a fierce thunderstorm in the middle of the night. It sounded as though it were directly over my house. Constant lightening flashes and the sound of the thunder seemed to start coming in one window and finish coming in another one. Very odd. In my sleepy, middle of the night mind I wrote a long letter to Mrs. Chicken about her father. It just came back to me this morning and it doesn’t totally make sense but basically I realized, when I was closer to my subconscious, that although I read her posts mourning her father, I read them quickly and put them out of my mind because otherwise it brings my fears of losing my father, which I am already in the midst of, too close to the surface. Would it be easier to lose Dad quickly as she lost her father, or to watch him start to disappear, as he is now? I guess both are full of pain.
Ernie took my father for a haircut and to the bank yesterday but Dad had such a hard time getting in the van that when they got to the bank, he let Ernie go in by himself. And I know he’d been looking forward to getting out of the house. Once in a while my Mom passes on their Chicago Tribunes and Ernie and I were shocked to see that they have stopped doing the crossword puzzles. My parents have always been fierce crossword puzzlers, just as Ernie is. To see those undone puzzles breaks my heart.
I had a somewhat unfulfilling (well, what did I expect?) conversation with my mother yesterday. Basically, the pleasantly agrees that they need to get someone in to help, consider assisted living, etc., etc. Then she basically says that she doesn’t like having somebody in their house and assisted living is too expensive. Which it IS of course. I found one that sounded o.k. and that even allows pets. $6,100 a month for the two of them. My parents have assets but they are not unlimited to say the least and at $6,100 a month they could go through them pretty quickly. Then what? Well, I don’t know because the damn place doesn’t accept Medicaid. There’s got to be a better way to deal with all this but God help me, I don’t know what it is.
One thought on “Mourning”
I have this conversation, a lot, with a close friend of mine whose dad was diagnosed with liver cancer and died within six weeks. My father – God, how he is on my mind these days! – was diagnosed and lived quite well, without detectable illness, for four more years. It was only the last nine months of his life that he was really sick.
I watched him lose almost 100 pounds. He couldn’t eat, one of his greatest pleasures. He couldn’t even drink coffee. He was so, so sad and it was so, so hard to come to terms with the fact that his illness was “terminal.”
As in, no cure. As in, his life will terminate. Sooner, at 54, rather than later.
But is there a gradient to suffering? Do we really feel any more or less pain, depending on the length of the denoument?
I don’t know.
No one does.
But I’m thinking of you.