Category Death and Dying

The Long Inevitable Good-Bye

Marshall passed away 8 months ago today. His passage still disturbs me. Witnessing such a strong, active man decline over more than 15 years and then in the end to become so very frail, dependent on total care for every basic need, retching from drug withdrawal, and unable to communicate, was death by a thousand […]

Easing Our Way Out of this World

We don’t want to talk or think about it. It’s rarely pretty. Some fear what happens afterwards, and we’d rather cling to what we do know, even if it’s not all that great. Death scares most of us, partly due to the fact that those of us who witness loved ones dying often see them […]

The Other Side of Mourning

It’s an unusual kind of mourning. Friends who lost a loved-one to dementia before me told me that the mourning period after death would be different than typically occurs. It isn’t as if our loved one suddenly died in an accident or suffered from a physical illness where we could still speak with them until […]

Prayers from and to the Communion of Saints

The reality of losing a loved one can take some time to hit home. Intellectually we know that person is no longer physically present, but we lag behind emotionally. My husband, Marshall, passed away on March 8th. It’s been a rough month and a half getting used to him being gone. In an effort to […]

Is There a Doctor in the House?

In our “take a pill and call me in the morning” culture, who will care for us medically in our senior days? We may think that medical assistance is unlimited for our specific needs, but the older we get, the less likely that is true. As the number of people who are 65 years of […]

We Can’t Know for Sure

We want to know how and when. And we want to know now! In our age of information, we have little patience for situations that aren’t easily answered with data, definitive answers, and quick fixes. We just want to take a pill or pay the bill and get on with things. Yet, there are so […]

Fighting for a Future Without Alzheimer’s

The last few weeks have been all about the Alzheimer’s Association’s Walks. I’ve been raising funds, briefly spoke at the walk in Naperville, Illinois last weekend, and am participating in the Fox Valley Walk this coming weekend. My fundraising efforts have been entirely online. Work and family responsibilities fill my days leaving me with no […]

A Caregiver’s Prayer

This prayer says it all. We caregivers of faith pray. We pray when we get up in the morning, all day long, and throughout the restless nights. We pray for our loved one and our much-needed strength, courage, and patience. We couldn’t get through the day without knowing God is with us, guiding us, and providing […]

Happy Birthday, Mom!

My mother, Patricia (Patsy) McCarthy Doyle, would be 90 years old today. Imagining her at this age is difficult for me. She died at the age of 70 in 1999. When I was young, I didn’t understand why people would mourn their loved ones decades after their deaths. I get it now. No matter how […]

Praying with Saints

“By baptism, all Christians are called to be saints. We are all to live our life in such a way that gives glory to God. Saints are people who are in heaven after living a life of charity and goodness. The Church recognizes some saints as such, but everyone’s life goal should be to strive […]