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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Additional resources for Death Benefits: How Losing a Parent Can Change an Adult's Life--For the Better
Now, though, I literally saw my mother being the adult for both of them, her vitality and air of authority masking—even then—her fear of failing at the Sisyphean task of caretaking. Standing slightly in the background, she was steadying her mother’s arm and holding her mother’s purse as well as her own, with a naturalness that indicated this happened all the time. I realized I had never before seen any other woman give her purse to another woman to hold if she could help it. Suddenly it was clear to me that my mother must have vowed, whether she knew it or not, to spare me her fate.
As I paced from room to room, aimless and desperate, I decided to take a nap to gather myself together, and I had a dream. The dream consisted of only one image: my scruffy but indestructible orange duffel bag of ballistic nylon, the one I take to the country every weekend, and that I joke is so cavernous that I could live inside. I unzipped it and found, to my surprise, that it contained two other bags that had come with it but that I’d never seen before, fully packed with everything I needed.
I could take them anywhere, for the rest of my life. I sat down again to write, calm and confident that I would recover everything that I had lost, and more besides. ሖሗመ As I stood up at the end of my exercise session today, something unexpected happened. My trainer had put a two-and-a-halfpound weight on my head, as she often does, to help me find my natural balance. It’s harder than it looks and always feels shaky and slightly scary at first, as though the disc could fall off and land on my foot.