My essay this month was depressing as hell ("We Finally Saw Our Father"). It’s difficult to write about my Mom’s Alzheimer’s, and about Dad’s life with her. I find little comfort or pat answers in how to deal with such long-suffering grief. I believe God’s in his heaven and all is right with the world, but I wish we didn’t have to deal with the fact of human suffering that seems to have no end. I have to daily accept it and just do what’s in front of me to do. Writing helps—it always offers epiphanies that I get to hold onto, some sense of mercy, makes me see what’s there, like my Dad and his wonderful personality of caregiving surfacing.
How do you deal with failing parents? Do you avoid it or embrace it?
Do you feel sorry for yourself?
Do you take issue with siblings who don’t help?
It took me some time to realize that siblings who don't live nearby may not realize how sick a parent really is, and even if they do, that their relationship with their parent is none of my business. Do you talk about such with your siblings?
What kind of “help” can we really offer?
And where do you find the grace in such a hopeless circumstance?