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Life Arts    H4'ed 8/3/10

When Sober Misery in Life Leads to Death

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I talked to my mother and girlfriend after getting off the phone with my father and stepmother. I explained that I thought my grandmother was miserable. I wasn't surprised and I felt like this death was an example of someone losing the will to live.

She was married to my grandfather for at least forty years. His mother (my great grandmother) died and my grandfather divorced my grandmother about a year later. He left my grandmother to marry a woman who had been taking care of his mother.

This devastated my grandmother. Gradually, she transformed into a person who was not confident in her ability to live. She needed more and more support for the every day things we take for granted. She lost track of hygiene and the necessity of eating. She didn't go anywhere, lost a lot of her spirit, and very soon she only wanted to interact with people at annual family gatherings (Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc). Even then, she was detached, likely uncertain of how to connect to her surroundings.

She had a television, which made it possible for her to enjoy sports events along with the occasional television show or made-for-TV movie. She liked sports and you could get her to talk sports. And, she had my father who slowly adopted a ritual of checking up on her once-a-day to make sure she was eating, cleaning herself, taking medications, living comfortably, etc.

Grandmother turned afraid when grandfather left. Her fear quickly went right past anger and hate to suffering. In addition to spinal problems and other physical problems, she blamed herself for her situation and slowly let life become a tragedy she was forced to live from the time she woke up to the time she went to sleep at night.

Sober misery--that's what I think one could call it, when each day feels a bit harder than the last and you really have no one to talk to and take away your pain because the reality is it can't go away.

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Kevin Gosztola is managing editor of Shadowproof Press. He also produces and co-hosts the weekly podcast, "Unauthorized Disclosure." He was an editor for
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