Thursday, May 08, 2008

Facing the Inevitable

Nobby is weak, trembling, unsteady on his feet. Yesterday I met a neighbour in the City Centre. A neighbour known as motor mouth because of her penchant for incessant gossiping. 'Nobby's not going to be here much longer. Not now that Freddi's gone,' He had been abandoned by the state, his family and now, even little Freddi. Please don't think I am judging the family because I am not. I am in no position to judge them. I didn't pay a great deal of attention to my own grandparents. Not even while they were dying. But I regret that and I am afraid that Nobby's family will come to feel that way too.

Nobby has grown frailer but he is as strong willed as ever. Not that this resolve has been properly tested (lately). There are no officials lining up outside his door offering him help. In my mind he is a member of an oppressed group that very few people give a toss about - the elderly (or 'pensioners' or 'seniors' - whichever term is en vogue.)

There is only me and I am afraid. 'I don't think I can handle this,' I told my mother on the 'phone. 'I'm not strong enough.'

'Oh, you're strong,' my mother said, 'Not always in the right way but you are strong.'

When I told her about my fears for Nobby's future she said: 'Don't talk like that.'  As if not talking about it will make any difference.

I believe they call what I am feeling 'anticipatory grief'.

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