The Long Goodbye

I am wondering how others deal with depression when they are watching their parents slowly fade away. The last decade has been like one long goodbye. Sometimes my sisters and I feel like we have been standing on the dock watching our parents pulling away from shore, all of us waving and crying the entire time.

Excuse me if that sounds melodramatic.

It’s just so exhausting.

We’ve been grieving for so long and it’s hard to think of the good slice in all of it. Of what there is to look forward to.

Our parents aren’t our parents anymore. At best there are days when Mom is sort of like her old self and then she throws out a zinger and you know that everything is going south.

Like a couple weeks ago when she had me come over because her TV quit working.

“I got up in the middle of the night and decided to rearrange the furniture,” she said. “And I must have done something to the TV because now it won’t turn on.”

After I arrived her story changed a bit and she explained that there was something behind the couch she had been trying to fix but she couldn’t remember what it was.

The cable cords were pulled out and both the cable box and television set had been unplugged. I put it all back together while acting like it was no big deal but inside my head a panic festival was going on.

A few deep breaths later I thought I had figured out what she may have been thinking.

When she moved into her new apartment in assisted living she had wanted the television set up on the opposite side of the room from the cable hookup, which meant running a long cable cord along the wall under the window. Maybe this cord running along the wall in full view bothered her and she was trying to hide it behind the couch. By moving furniture. In the middle of the night. Well okay then.

And so we continue.

Onward ho, as one of my sisters says.

We just keep waving.


4 thoughts on “The Long Goodbye

  1. It is a grieving process and how to handle is very individual, all I know is support and talking may help, not sure if have a carers support group. Remember though take care of you also.
    Sad and terrible disease that robs us of our loved ones over a long period of times sometimes. x

    • Thank you Maxine and not just for taking the time to read this post and to comment. I don’t know how our family would have coped without the compassion and help of caregivers such as yourself. It must be such a difficult job and you have to say goodbye to so many people, but at the end of the day you are making a real difference in the world. Thanks again, Shannon

      • When you get a good carer try to hold on to that person as they will get to know who your family was and will not just see the condition. They will see a person still. They will see you as their family and will listen to you and try to support all. I am lucky enough to see lots of carers and train even more. It’s a pleasure and I have loved my care work since I was 18.

      • Sounds like you have found your purpose in life and the world is better for it. Our family has been lucky to have some amazing caregivers that we count as friends. Thank you for all that you do.

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