My Father Was the Quiet Yet Unmistakable Leader of Our Clan

I wish I’d taken the time to get to know him better

Merre Larkin
4 min readFeb 22, 2024
watch and old photo of father with his infant child
Photo by Anne Nygård on Unsplash

Although my father is in hospice and is dying, my mother is not doing well either. They share the same room in a nursing home, and they don’t seem to acknowledge each other. My father has reached a point where he is only sleeping, barely eating, still drinking a little, but thankfully, his pain is controlled. My mother has reached a point where she doesn’t understand what is being said to her and cannot communicate a decipherable response.

I do think my mom knows my dad is near the end, though. And I think he knows she’s right there. I don’t think they’d be doing as well as they are if that weren’t true.

What I don’t understand is why I feel so much sadder about my dad’s situation than my mom’s. I know it’s not because my dad seems to be nearer to the end than my mom. I thought of that, but that’s not what it is.

I’ve been going over and over it in my mind. I feel guilty about it. Why am I not as sad about losing my mom as I am about losing my dad?

Make no mistake. I miss my mom so much. I miss calling her, and being able to talk to her about anything that is going on, catching her up on the kids, talking about movies and politics, and especially when…



Merre Larkin

Writer of nonfiction (memoir, essays), fiction, and poetry. Life/writing coach. Educator. Marathoner. Avid reader. Here to share, here to learn.