Tuesday, August 4, 2020

My little part of the nightmare

I am participating in the
 Slice of Life.  
All participants are writing about one moment, one part of their day, 
on Tuesdays.
                                                        Thank you, Two Writing Teachers!

Today's slice is a lament.

My Dad is now under hospice care. I've written about him lots these past few years. He is 91; has been in feeble health due to Parkinson's; lives in a nursing home in Maine (near others in my family). In recent days, he has begun to decline rapidly, spending whole days in bed, not eating much or at all, and complaining of pain.

The goal is to keep him comfortable and at ease. Hospice is so beautiful at this.

I feel so much sadness. Brokenness. Stuck in this fog of uncertainty and mixed-up confusion. Should be there. Can't be there. Don't dare be there. Want to be there. Not permitted there. Hard to imagine him there.

He is dying, all alone.

This past Friday, we received word that there were now several cases of COVID in the nursing home. Not my Dad; to date, he has tested negative for COVID. However, he is being kept isolated, as is every resident, and no one, no one, no one is permitted to visit. 

My head hurts from this grievous puzzle:
To travel to see him means staying with family/friends, and putting them at risk from possible COVID picked up as I journeyed.
There's no possibility of seeing my father for two solid weeks, as the home is quarantined. 
In two weeks, it means having only brief visits with my Dad, and no real contact - though there is something called a "compassion" visit when he is perceived to be in his final days.
To travel back here, afterwards, is to put my sweet little 'pod' at risk - my toddler granddaughter, my son/daughter-in-law, who are expecting a second baby this fall.

Honestly, this is like a nightmare. This is my little part of the enormous nightmare that is happening throughout the world. 

I can still think of so much for which I am grateful.
I know it could be worse, it can always be worse.

I had a lovely Zoom call with him this past week and I look forward to another tomorrow, fingers crossed.

This sucks.

I think I need to not fight these heavy emotions I am experiencing, 
not gloss over them, 
just hurt. 
Take the quiet, the stillness, the emptiness, and hurt.

This little ditty of a poem appeared in my head, so this will be my share today:

so many "make do's"
pretend "must do's"
creative "to do's"
but nothing
absolute do
just so much grey
this day
a make myself do day
no zippety do dah
in a make myself do day
just need to accept
I'm feeling blue day


  1. Oh Marureen, I am so sorry to read this. There are no words.

  2. Reading brings tears to my eyes. You describe with such great feeling the nightmare of these times, this pandemic. Thank you for writing. Quiet, stillness, emptiness, hurt... and love.

  3. Maureen, I'm so sorry to read about what you're going through. I don't have any words to ease your pain, but I will be thinking about you, your father and your family often. I hope that writing helped a bit.

  4. I am so sorry, Maureen. Oh the pain of all this suffering, this needles “it is what it is” mentality we hear from you-know-who. Give yourself grace. Wishing you peace. Sending you love and empathy.

  5. A haunting post and poem, in its brevity and rhythmic grief. I am so sorry about these heartbreaking circumstances, and am moved by the way you find threads of goodness to hold to - "Hospice is so beautiful at this." They really are ministering angels at the hardest of times. Praying peace and relief to your dear father, strength to you and your family - and thank heaven for Zoom.

  6. Maureen, this is so hard! My mom passed away in April and I wasn't able to be at the funeral and have closure on her life. It was a major cause of a depression that lasted several weeks. None of this seems fair and I can only hold you and your family in my prayers and send good thoughts your way. We will get through this!

  7. We are all in a state of limbo in one form or another, but for you and those in your situation, the unknowing-ness and unable-ness is a heavy, sorrow-full burden felt throughout your post. The impending loss of a parent is hard under the best of circumstances. You are wise for giving yourself the grace to just feel and be and ride this wave. My heart goes out to you.