Sued51's Blog

{January 11, 2010}   A Difficult Topic

My parents are both in their 80’s.  Some of my siblings and I recently opened a conversation on the topic of our parents’ health and their future.  It wasn’t a pleasant conversation, but a necessary one.  We didn’t come up with any solutions during the discussion, but I felt relieved that the topic had been put on the table.

In 2008 I almost lost my father.  I was living out-of-state from him, and it was an excruciating experience.  It has been a year since the crisis, and his 84th birthday is coming up next month.  But I feel like I am living with a ticking time bomb.  The point could be made that life is just like that because you can lose someone at any time based on an accident, but when you know the odds are stacked against your loved one, it is a legitimate worry and it is hard to share, even with siblings.

An acquaintance recently sent me a link to a web site called Losing Our Parents (  It provides a support forum for adult children who are losing or have lost their parents.  People can post letters to their parents, write about them, and support and network with others going through the same thing.

The web site describes a three-stage process of losing parents that can start long before death.  Beginning with their declining health and parents needing more help from adult children, the stressful process continues past their death, with the legal and practical issues and prolonged grieving after they pass away and the effect on surviving family members.

I thought this topic was worth writing about because I know it is one that most people do not like to bring up or talk about.  Support is important and sometimes support from strangers is easier to accept than that from those you know well.

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