Sunday, December 18, 2011

At the Far End of Life

("Life Goes on and On")

What would Mr. Atlas say to the enormous population who have aging parents in the throes of dementia or Alzheimer's?  Where does one find the joy or benefit in watching the deterioration?

I am troubled as I watch a generation outliving their funds and their fun. For too many, they hang on physically and financially in a world they only see from the periphery. Mr. Atlas is very fortunate that he has a mom who still has the capacity to understand and enjoy what life has to offer.

I hope in the future that we treat the issue of the extension and the concurrent diminution of existence, with the seriousness and respect it deserves. I lost my Dad 32 years ago and I have been forever grateful to have had the love and support of my mom for all this time. Yet for more than half a decade, she has struggled to maintain her ever more tenuous hold on the world. Even now, when I take her to lunch or dinner several times a week, she insists on paying though she can't find her wallet, or read the check, or even cut her food. There is beauty and  tragedy in this ritual, and it is this dichotomy that so many of us fight to understand.


gail said...

As always, so well expressed. Pls. send this along to the Times.

Pam said...

Beautifully said... so sad but true...