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Losing An Older Parent

No matter how close or distant a parent was in the  emotional plane, the locational plane or the acceptance of you plane, when they go,  a huge chunk of your history goes with them. This is the only person who can remember your childhood clearly.  Siblings may recall parts but if they are close in age, their memories will be fuzzy or distorted and if they are much older than you, they likely were not paying much attention to you! So saying goodbye to the time capsule that is your parent is a flux in the system. Gone is any…

The Circle Begins Again

It has been quite a year. In some ways it feels like the guardrails were removed and we’ve been careening through these last months turning corners on two wheels! As we close out 2018 we all have a lot on our minds. Global weirding is all around us: cluttered oceans, climate change, political strife, mass migrations, racial tensions, opioid addiction, homelessness. It’s grim stuff for the holidays. What’s most interesting though, is that somehow, in the face of everything the news hurls at us hourly, the overwhelming majority of people still remain hopeful. Acts of love and kindness continue to rise to…

Unprepared

Since I started writing and speaking about our American way of handling aging and death, a lot has changed. Just 9 years ago, no one thought much about preparing for the most important transition of all, the passing from this world into whatever the next one holds. Despite the fact that we ALL experience the cessation of our life here in the corporeal, so many of us are fearful or shy about talking about it. Fear of being deemed morbid or macabre, having a death wish, or an unhappy relationship, we push the conversation and the topic away over and…

Unquenchable Light

Over and over I hear that no one feels old when  they report they are living a meaningful life.  And meaningful as defined by the goals and values they want to achieve. Whether they are staying physically active, donating time to community, mentoring grandkids,  working in the garden or learning a new cooking style, the older folks that have a goal and are tethered to meaningful people in their lives report “I am not old!”  Whether they are 50 or 90, these qualities of engagement defy the breakdown of spirit. By contrast, those are fearful, disconnected, spending too much time…

The Tragic Loss Of Time To Imagine

I am more and more resenting my computer and phone. Even as I opted to use the laptop here, ( my writing has gotten atrocious) I feel hostile to the 11 x 8 screen or whatever the dimensions. They own me.  My phone owns me.  I can’t put them down.  Too many links to too many things.  For instance, I want to get away from my screen so I decide “I will take a walk!” , which I love and needs very little prompting, but what if I see something interesting, I really  should take a picture and my camera…

A Few Words About Assisted Living

This is my personal experience, but one that I hear from others is sadly all too common. Choose assisted living, particularly memory care, very carefully.  If your parent is healthy and thriving and just needs help with housework or managing medications, assisted living may be appropriate.  ADLs  (activities of daily living , and IADLs, Instrumental acitivites…