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Thursday, July 29, 2010

Talking to my father about death, 2

The sadness is spreading. My mother calls at 1 p.m. and says she can’t get out of bed. That she feels like dying. She says my brother feels the same way. What are the dogs doing? I ask, knowing that we know how animals feel by the way they act. My father’s unemployment has run out; he has no job prospects. He gave it his all—he gave it away…he gave it when he had it, and now it’s no longer there to give, so there’s no hope—the work is done. I told my mother I was looking into field-worker retirement communities, where immigrants go to die in peace. She says that you can’t die in peace; that’s what death achieves, not what dying is like. I think she sound philosophical. But maybe I’m looking for wisdom in the sadness, in the helplessness. Maybe there’s none.

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