by Chris de Serres


Am I allowed to be angry with you?  I keep asking myself that question.  Dad is dying, so why am I so angry with how you are handling it?  We’ve all seen the movies.  Dad is dying.  His wife never leaves his bedside.  Her concern is only for him.  Every decision she makes is for that purpose.  That’s what I believed.

We are losing our father.  You are losing your life partner.  Your only real relationship.  He’s provided stability for you your entire adult life.  He was the calming yin to your serially anxious yang.  Now he is a confused old man whose body is shutting down.

I see him in that bed, his stomach ballooning from all the trapped liquid in his system.  His small face, wracked with anxious glances, hovers above this wasted shell.  I want to take that small face and spirit it off to a healthier place.

I realize that little of this is in my control.  Not even you, mother.  You spend all this time complaining about how much work it is taking care of dad.  A record player that keeps skipping endlessly into his ear.  He just looks at you, feeling like a burden, wanting to go away to ease your hardship.

We spend all of our time trying to figure out how to ease your hardship.  There is very little left to focus on our dad.  On giving him some peace.

This is real dying I guess.  It scares me.  I am not religious or superstitious but there is something about dying in the middle of chaos and turmoil that lingers on in the earth.  Will we not give this man his moment of reflection?  Of comfort?  The moments are less and less and we are squandering them.  I just want a moment.

That’s all I want.