I’ve been doing the SCS work since the beginning of January and I’ve learned that no one else is responsible for my happiness or feelings and that I’m not responsible for others’ either. Even with this knowledge, I’m struggling with how best to support my 85 year old dad. He ended his career around 65 because he was downsized when his company was sold, and likely didn’t know how or what to do next, so he didn’t. He volunteered in several capacities, but I know that wasn’t wholly fulfilling. So he hasn’t worked for a long time, when I think he would have been working until the day he died if he could have. He’s old and has some health issues that go along with that age – he’s had a couple of heart attacks, leg issues and about a year ago began losing site in one of his eyes. That left him unable to drive, read the newspaper and follow stocks for the first time in his life. He’s always been super independent, and I know this has been really difficult on his psyche.
On the phone a few weeks ago, he said tearfully to me “I just don’t have any ambition anymore.” He is struggling with sadness, lack of independence and approaching the end of his life. He lives far away – a 2 hour plane ride, plus 3 hour drive/bus ride to my house from the airport. I offered to visit him (I have 3 kids, so it would have been a 2 day visit), but realized he may enjoy more coming here to see all of us for longer, so I invited he and my mom. They are coming next week. I’m happy they are coming. I feel love for my dad. I do want him to be happy, but I struggle with how best to support him.
C my 85 year old dad
T He is old and sad
F love, empathy, pity
A don’t bring up his feelings, for fear he’ll be more sad
R he doesn’t know I care
C my 85 year old dad
T He has had a good life and has a family that loves him
F empathy, love
A engage in conversation about his interests, find podcasts he’ll be interested in, find ways for him to engage with kids
R he has a good trip and leaves here knowing he’s loved
These seem ok, but yet I also feel as though I’m missing something. Any insights you can share?
Thanks so much!