Went to a family do yesterday. Drank way too much red wine and, in consequence, had one of the worst nights I've ever had, pressed almost breathless between sadness and fear-filled, racing thoughts.

No doubt part of this stems from a remark my dad made while we were walking together–basically, that his balance has been off lately and he's convinced that it's early Parkinson's. As his father, too, developed this condition in his late 70s (my dad is 78), this is very likely. The truth is, watching my very smart, very talented dad slow down in the past year has put similar thoughts in my own head. Hearing it from him was different, though.

The fact is that at 38, I am still pathetically dependent on my folks–psychologically but also (hangs head in shame) financially. They are such wonderful, decent people, I can't bear the thought of either one of them suffering, and know that the greatest suffering either of them will experience will most likely be brought on by the other's suffering. (In true anxious style, my mom used to say–when I was a little kid, mind–that if anything ever happend to my dad, we should just throw her in the grave and shovel the dirt over her too. For all you parents out there, a tip: DON'T DO THIS.)

I know that it is in the natural scheme of things to lose one's parents, and I so want to be able to handle it with strength and grace and generosity–for their sakes as well as my own. And yet, how can that be? Even with their love and support I have been a mess. How realistic is it to believe that I'll survive their passing?

It seems much more probable that I'll totally lose my mind and wind up on the street, then in the morgue–a dishonor to all their efforts to raise me well. (Sounds melodramatic but that's what it's like in my head at the moment.)

I just feel so weak, and am terrified of what's to come.

Does anyone have any thoughts?

1 Comment
  1. RZA324 10 years ago

    I know hard this is no matter what age.  Unfortunately I lost my mom at 20 and my dad passed away 2 yrs. ago.  My father outlived my mom for about 25 yrs. and they were ever so close.  But as all things it does get better, the pain never goes away.  Its just that the wound isn't so fresh, it litterally physically hurts when you love a loved one.  But again your letting your mind get the better of you.  I lose my balance all the time and not anywhere near your dads age My friend was diagnosed with Parkinsons about 10 yrs. ago when she was only in her thirties and although she can no longer work and gets a lot of help she is okay.  Its normal to catastrophize but don't get ahead of yourself and believe it or not we are all a lot stronger then we think when we have to be.  Take care and just enjoy your parents every day

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