My mom and stepdad are having a supreme, unbelievable shithole week and I’m worried about them (mainly my mom).

On Monday, my youngest brother went to rehab for the second time (pills and alcohol problems). For the rest of us (siblings and my dad), this is a huge relief because we knew he wasn’t thriving when he came back the first time and he had two weeks of spiraling that everyone wondered if he was dead or alive for a while. For my mother, it is the final acknowledgement that her hopes and optimism for the past 6 months were all for nothing (this is what she thinks). Being a mother, she blames herself directly.

On Tuesday, my stepdad’s mother died. So my mom and stepdad were separated physically while my brother got taken back to rehab and my stepdad sat at his mother’s death bed. The death was expected. She was very old. But while people like to say that in a comforting way, I can’t imagine that watching your mother succumb to Parkinson’s is any more comfortable than anything else.

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I’ve been trying to make sure I touch base with my mom frequently but I’m trying not to overwhelm her with attention.

Yesterday was my mother’s birthday. Also yesterday, my stepdad’s father had a heart attack and passed away. He had Alzheimer’s to the point that he did not really know what was happening, but I would bet he sensed his wife’s passing.

Today is coincidentally my stepdad’s birthday and his mother’s funeral. I didn’t realize today was his birthday until Facebook told me. Then I made the connection that the funeral is today (I live halfway across the country). Then I decided to make this post because come on.

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I offered to go see my mom. I think it would make her feel better but she always rejects this stuff. If she was on her deathbed she’d try to get me not to miss work. I’m trying to decide if this is a force-myself-in-anyway situation, or a this-is-too-much-and-she-doesn’t-want-a-visitor. She does not fuss over me when I visit but I certainly don’t want to burden her. I was just thinking going and staying for a few days, cooking and taking care of the dog might be a nice gesture.

Maybe this is callous of me to say, because I am so far removed from the situation (I have only met my stepdad’s parents once), but it has been a huge burden for my mom, stepdad, and his siblings’ families to care for one parent with Parkinson’s and another with Alzheimer’s. I hope that between this passing and my brother safely tucked away in a rehab, they will have some moments of peace for their grief. Alzheimer’s runs in my family, and you end up grieving for the person while they are still alive- while you still take care of them. It’s a lot.

Thanks for letting me vent, folks.