By Jeanne Safer
Read or Download Death Benefits: How Losing a Parent Can Change an Adult's Life--For the Better PDF
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Extra resources for Death Benefits: How Losing a Parent Can Change an Adult's Life--For the Better
She won’t let me comfort her—she can’t even let me say good-bye. ” My husband joined the chorus of “she’s trying to protect you in her way,” but I was having none of it. I didn’t believe it; so many things that were supposedly for my sake had really been for hers. Was narcissism masquerading as selflessness all there was in the end? I struggled to accept that our final exchange would have to be long-distance. What could I possibly say to her? This really was my last chance. I didn’t want to be cold, or just go through the 0465072118-Safer:Layout 1 32 2/19/08 1:20 PM Page 32 Death Benefits motions.
Although I wasn’t there, nobody had to explain what she meant. This was no simple statement of fact; it was her hard-won credo, her affirmation: “Even the day I die, my last day on earth, belongs to me. This is my day. ” Death had no dominion over her love of life, and in the end she prevailed. ሖሗመ I didn’t cry as much at her funeral as Linda and the staff did, all wearing gifts she had given them. The young woman who was an animal lover pointed out the flock of birds circling overhead, as if to see her off.
I don’t expect that, and I don’t need it; my pessimistic core is part of me forever. But help does not feel entirely out of reach anymore. The acid test happened just as I began to write about the meaning of my mother’s death. It was a struggle to figure out, and to articulate all my feelings about her, because I had to reexperience everything I was trying to describe, and I wanted to do her justice. After a week of worrying that I would never be able to manage it, that even though I’ve written three autobiographies before I’d lost the knack, I found my way in and hit my stride— when a computer glitch wiped out everything I’d written.