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Aaron David

A fourth generation Californian, befuddled.

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  1. Avatar Michelle
    Ignored
    says:

    Joining the discussion late. Great book–very poetic.

    The ever presence of death was perhaps what struck me most about the novel. As the narrator points out life comprises death but usually not through suicide. I’ve had a couple people close to me commit suicide. In one case, it came as a surprise. In the second, not so much. Both were men. The first shot himself. The second, a doctor, closed up his garage and turned on the car. Both suicides left our mutual friends shocked and numb in the aftermath. Toru’s reaction rings true.

    Both my husband and I still have our parents. Mine will be 84 this year and are in fairly good health, especially my mother. My husband’s mom is 85; his father 94. We brought them here from Chicago because they could no longer look after themselves. She’s gone completely blind, has diabetes, and a host of other health issues. We’re fortunate enough to have an aide provided through Medicare who comes in a few hours each day during the week, but we do their shopping and my husband cooks a huge pot of soup and other meals for them to eat during the week. I check in with them every other day or so to clean up after their cat and make sure they’re doing okay. In the close to two years they’ve lived here, their decline, though gradual, has been obvious and painful to watch. Old age is not for the weak, and watching people you love slowly waste away, knowing the end can’t be far off, is difficult. We’re not sure how much longer they’ll be able to stay in their apartment and they’re adamant about not wanting to end up in a nursing home. Of course, dealing with these issues on a regular basis leads you to think about what will happen to you as you get old.

    So, the one of the main themes of the book, the transience of life, strikes a particular chord for me as I spend a fair amount of time thinking about mortality these days.Report

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