On death, decline and elder orphans

Twelve years ago, soon after my younger brother unexpectedly died, my father pressed me about my future burial plans. I felt clammy and tight and above all irritated: not even 40 then, I was too young to think about the details of my death. I refused to answer him and pushed the thoughts and uncomfortable feelings aside. These days, I’m … Read More

Beyond coffee and red wine

Grace had always been what you might call a traditional woman in a traditional sort of marriage. So the day she stood in the living room, a carving knife raised in her hand, yelling obscenities at her husband of 50 years, her family knew something was terribly wrong. And what was wrong was dementia. Grace was my best friend’s mother, … Read More

Jack fell down …

For my 80-something neighbours, 2015 year crashed in with the force of a tidal wave, uprooting and displacing them from their home of 40 years, pushing them into a forced separation. Although several factors led to this enormous (to them) change, you might say it began in September when Fred stood on a chair to change a light bulb. No big … Read More