After They’re Gone


Home Unfurnishing Your Parent’s Stuff

This is an excellent article by Richard Eisenberg that offers eight strategies for systematically paring down the stuff of aging parents that apparently nobody wants. It’s a necessary but ultimately awkward ritual of sorting with an eye towards aggressively casting…

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Augmented Eternity: Ready or Not

Read this amazing and disturbing article by Adrienne Matei that is published in “Quartz” entitled Beyond The Grave Technology is rewriting yet another chapter in the book on death. In addition to forestalling physical death with machines that can breath…

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The Dream

Every Mother’s Day I think about my mom’s dream. She longed for a big house on a lake filled with children and the buzz of life, friends dropping in unannounced, and laughter, lots and lots of laughter. Was not to…

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Unclaimed

This moving story from NPR is about teen volunteers in Boston who serve as pallbearers for those who have died alone and become officially “unclaimed.” Their graveside memorial includes these words: “He died alone with no family to comfort him.…

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No Easy Way Out

In working with our aging parents, we encounter predictable dilemmas with no easy way out. Here is a personal story that echoes a common theme I hear about from adult children. As my mother approached 90 and despite increasing frailty…

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The End of Life Dilemma

The question of how much care at the end of life is a dilemma with no easy answers. Ultimately, it is best approached by understanding the patient’s perspective within the context of his or her family: What does the patient…

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Toxic Parents and Adult Children

It’s the luck of the draw as to which childhood any of us inherit. Sometimes it’s filled with toxic parents who leave abusive tattoos that last a lifetime. Remarkably, they wind up under our care with the same bag of…

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When The Last Parent Is Gone

When The Last Parent Is Gone By David Solie When the last parent is gone, Your heart cannot right itself, Things that should help, Heeding warning signs Repairing loose ends Bracing for impact All prove shallow comfort. For the end…

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Poetry and Aging Parents, Part 3

The loss of an aging parent is not an isolated event. Rather, their passing is part of the thinning social fabric of middle age and beyond. Siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins friends, associates and casual acquaintances all start to take their…

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