Grandparents And Grandchildren: Observations From A Parent In-Between.

Larissa Dann

He fumbles open the car door, leans down to grab his stick, then steps precariously across the gutter. She glides to the door, closes it, and peers at me through the smudged glass with a look that she knows I will understand.

“I will look after him, but I’m a bit worried . . .” are the words I translate from her eyes.

Loving Our Ailing Relatives: Still The Same, But Different.

Larissa Dann

“Take me away from here”, she croaks. “Take me away”.

These are the words my mother say when I first visit her in the nursing home

“I know you don’t want to be here, Mum. You never wished to be in a home. We just can’t look after you at your place”.

Nostalgia And Sentiment: My Christmas Clean Out Sabotaged!

Larissa Dann

The Christmas break. I set myself two main tasks: help the family prepare for Christmas; and clean out the garage. You know, declutter. I found, however, that Nostalgia became my subverting companion in these missions.

The Heartbreak Of Packing Up Your Parent's Life

Larissa Dann.

Slipping the key into the lock, I turn the handle, and step into times past. Immediately, I inhale the scent of my mother’s life, captured forever in the carpet, the cupboards, the air contained within the walls of her home.

Only – it’s not her home anymore. This house (once a home) is a museum for family memories.

Podcast: When My Baby Sprouts a Beard: Larissa Dann and P.E.T.

 

I was fortunate to be interviewed by Hunter Clarke-Fields on bringing up children using gentle, mindful parenting from Parent Effectivness Training. Here is her introduction:

"Have you ever wondered what it would be like if you could look into the future and see the results of mindful parenting?

The Privilege Of Keeping Watch Over A Dying Parent (And Grandparent)

Larissa Dann

As my mother lay dying, my children sat with her, talked to her, reminisced with her, read to her, sang to her, played her favourite music, held her hand.There was no question that they would not be as involved with her death, as they had been with her life.

This is my story of honouring my mother’s final days.

When Cancer Touches Someone You Know

Larissa Dann

When someone you know has had cancer, please be mindful. There is never really a ‘had’ when cancer is involved. ‘Had’ implies finished, final, gone.

‘I had cancer’ is not like ‘I had a cold’.

Being in remission is not the same as being cured.

‘Phubbing’ And Other Wisdoms: A Family Forming Memories

Larissa Dann 25th April 2017 (updated 27th April 2017)

Four people (three generations) in a car for five days, travelling over 2,000 kilometres along the Great Ocean Road in Victoria, Australia. This was our family, investing time in laying down memories for the future, while fulfilling one of the items on my Dad’s bucket list.

‘One Day’ May Be Too Late. Why We Need To Thank Our Friends And Family Now.

By Larissa Dann.  5th April, 2017.

A week before writing this blog, a dear friend of mine died suddenly and unexpectedly. Her death has shaken me to my core.

As I sat writing for her memorial service, I read and re-read my final paragraph.

‘Thank you.  For everything.  For being your complex self, and a supportive friend. I’m so sorry I never thought to say this to you earlier.  Thank you.’

Questions For Your Parents: Encouraging Their Reflections On A Life Lived

By Larissa Dann.

(printable version of questions here)

 

My father recently celebrated his 85th birthday.  For me, the occasion was particularly poignant.  He has metastatic cancer, and has had two hip replacements, pneumonia and numerous other hospital stays over the last 18 months.  I did not think he would make the distance.

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