Responsibility & Blame

Warning: I’m ranting…some profanity ahead…

I was driving home from work the other day, and as is often the case, I seem to do my best thinking in the car. Finally putting the story of my Dad’s death to paper, so to speak, has caused me to think a lot about that event as well as my Mom’s death earlier in the same year; something I haven’t done for a while. I began to think, “who or what is responsible for the way they died?” Now, straight up, I’ll admit they didn’t die young as many Christian Scientists do. Mom was 81, Dad was 79. They both died in the same year. However, they died in great pain, agony, and suffering–especially Mom. At least I got Dad to the hospital where he was made comfortable, and his physical situation was treated, although he did suffer a lot for many years from the effects of heart failure until it finally caught up with him.

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Another Death in the Family – Epilogue

Please also see Parts 1, 2, & 3 of this post, as well as a related previous post. All of these posts are under the category “Death in my Family“.

During Dad’s time in the hospital, I had decided I was going to move back to where he was living so I could be with him, and oversee his care. His death did not alter that decision, but it profoundly altered the course of my life. After taking care of a few immediate details, and getting the probate process started on his will, I closed up the house and returned to Boston, and work. I had planned that I would use some immediate funds I gained access to to settle most of my debts, and work through June of that year, then resign and move back to where my parents lived, and where I now live. I originally planned to drive my car across Canada, heading straight north from Boston, and starting across from Montréal and visit family friends and family along the way. Continue reading

Another Death in the Family – Part 3

This is the third in a three part post. Please see Part 1 and Part 2. All related posts can be found in the category “Death in my Family“.

Dad’s physical condition was stabilizing, and he was eventually moved out of the cardiac ward and into the long-term care ward. His mental state continued to deteriorate. Sometimes he recognized me, sometimes not. He often thought I was his younger brother, whom he had nicknamed “asshole” when they were kids and fought a lot. So, frequently I was greeted with “hey asshole” when I entered the room. Most of the time, I just took it, but to the muffled amusement of the nurses, occasionally I struck back and told him that I didn’t “fucking appreciate being called an asshole, and that I deserved a little bit of respect.” Usually that brought him back to the present, and he realized who I was. Continue reading

Another Death in the Family – Part 2

This is Part 2 of a 3 part post. Please also see Part 1 of this post. All related posts can be found in the category “Death in my Family“.

The conversation I had with Mr. & Mrs. Smith hit me like a sucker punch to the gut. When I talked to Dad and raised my concerns and implored him to think about getting to the hospital, he got very angry with me, and cussed about how the Smiths and everyone else should just mind their own business and leave him alone. He was adamant that he would get healing in Christian Science or just die. Either way, he wasn’t going to the hospital. I felt helpless. I was 3,000 miles away, and wasn’t in much of a financial position to afford to travel on short notice to Dad’s home. I felt trapped and helpless. Continue reading

Another Death in the Family – Part 1

This is related to my previous post, “A Death in the Family“, and the events I describe here follow on from that post, later in the same year. Since this is a long story to tell, I have broken it into multiple parts. All related posts are under the category “Death in my Family“.

So, what was the final push that got me out of Christian Science? The final of the “death by 1,000 cuts” of my faith in it? My father’s death. Yes, I’m being very un-Christian Science by saying the “D” word, but he died. Unlike in the case of my Mom, I was there for every terrible part of it. Christian Science failed my father in the most horrible way. He was dedicated to it for most of his life, but in the end, his unwavering faith in it condemned him to unspeakable suffering, just as it had my Mom. Continue reading

A Death in the Family

I have now written more posts that follow on to the story I present here. All of these posts can be found under the category “Death in my Family“.

One of the last nails in the coffin for me and my faith in Christian Science (CS) was my mother’s death. Yes, I’m using the very un-CS word–death. She died. That’s it. I cannot, nor will I put it any other way. I believe/hope that there is an existence beyond death, but I really don’t know. Nobody does. Fair warning, dear readers, this one is long, and it may get a bit hostile. It’s also deeply personal. This is the first time I’ve publicly shared the story of my mother’s death.

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