It is beginning to sink in that my father is dying. My mother died nearly 6 years ago, so I’ve been managing his finances and meeting with doctors and such.
A large part of me feels numb.
I’ve written before that I didn’t have the best relationship with my parents as an adult. Part of this was due to my fat, though that certainly wasn’t the only issue. In the past couple years I’ve gone from seeing my father a few times a year to seeing him once a week or more. He seems to feel that he’s very close to me. I see him as an amiable relative who is slipping away. It’s also a loss, both of what was, and a reminder of what could have been.
I should note that I’m not sure I can have a full, two-sided relationship with someone with dementia. Partly it’s the memory loss (he’s asked me to visit at least once a month, and I explained I’ve been visiting once a week). He is dependent on me, in many ways, and that affects things. I’m not looking for the relationship I didn’t have 20 years ago, because that’s not possible now. But I am reminded of the relationship we could have had 20 or 30 years ago.
This isn’t just my regrets, or my loss of a parent. He made his own choices. It’s very possible that his dementia is due to his longterm drinking. I know his drinking affected our relationship, and my relationship with my mother, same as I know their wanting me to be thin affected me and my relationship with my parents.
I realize these may not be the typical feelings at facing the eventual loss of a parent. But there it is.