Sometimes simple reassurance is enough

Reader asks about consoling a terminal parent, in the age of COVID-19 and a bleak prognosis. Sometimes simple reassurance helps, Carolyn Has responds.



April 20, 2020 - 9:42 AM

Dear Carolyn: I have a parent in an assisted-living facility with an illness that will cause death soon, regardless of covid-19. This is and has been incredibly difficult on my other parent.

My job involves strategic public health planning and policy, and we are all-hands-on-deck to solve problems when they come up. Happy to serve, but my days can be very bleak, looking at what we are planning for. I know we are worst-case-scenario planners, but still.

My healthy parent has tearful conversations with me about the parent in assisted living dying during this pandemic, our not being able to say goodbye, and having a funeral ceremony rushed. I totally understand, and I feel the same things.

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