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I'll Be Seeing You: A Memoir (2020)

av Elizabeth Berg

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
1037263,406 (4)3
"For as long as Elizabeth can remember, she has watched her father trail after her mother, kissing her multiple times a day and holding her hand. She watched her mother smooth the lines in her father's face and pay attention to his every move, even when she was desperate for some time to herself. When her parents began to age, Elizabeth and her siblings are placed in the difficult position of taking over more and more supportive roles and tasks. They fix their parents' home, negotiate finances, eventually weather the back and forth of will they or won't they move into a nursing facility; finally they do. Berg gracefully takes readers through navigating the emotional and physical challenger of guiding parents through the final stages of life. In this touching and heart-warming memoir, Berg includes raw accounts of disagreements, encouraging stubborn parents, and dealing with her own heartache and loss. Berg confront both the realities of the situation and the brighter, happy, funny and endearing moments and memories"--… (mer)
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A bittersweet memoir about dealing with aging parents. ( )
  bookwyrmm | Mar 2, 2022 |
A sad and wonderful memoir, written as diary entries, of Berg and her sister convincing their parents to move from their house. Their father has the beginnings of Alzheimers, which is difficult for their mother to accept. This resonated so much with me because a friend, whose husband had the same symptoms, treated him just as badly. This must have been a hard, even if cathartic, book to write. ( )
  bobbieharv | Jul 29, 2021 |
I always love Elizabeth Berg's books! This is no exception! ( )
  Dianekeenoy | Feb 14, 2021 |
Elizabeth Berg’s I’ll Be Seeing You is, I can tell you from recent experience, an accurate reflection of what it feels like to watch a parent become less and less capable of taking care of themself over a number of years. If you are lucky enough to have a parent live into their late eighties and beyond, what Berg describes in this heartfelt memoir is inevitable. It is only a matter of time before child and parent are required to switch roles, and the formerly-protected becomes the protector.

My favorite quotation, in fact, from I’ll Be Seeing You comes from the book’s prologue:

“I think as long as a parent is alive, it’s easier to feel young. It’s easy to feel that in some respects you are still being taken care of, even when it becomes more you who takes care of them.”

Berg takes the reader through almost a year of transition for her parents, October 2010-July 2011, during which they were forced to come to the realization that they could no longer live in the family home they had enjoyed together for four decades. As Berg and her siblings learned, however, realization comes a good bit before acceptance, and even after her parents have moved into an assisted living arrangement, they refuse to sell the family home because they still hope to return there someday.

The experience that Berg describes is a very emotional one that was not helped by her father’s Alzheimer’s diagnosis. The author was, I think, somewhat surprised by her mother’s resentment that if not for her husband’s mental problems, she, at least, would still be living at home. As her mother found it harder and harder to hide her feelings from her children, they began to resent the way she was treating their father - even, it seems, to worry about whether she was taking proper care of their father. Things were said, feelings hurt, and relationships damaged.

The sad part is that all of it was perfectly normal, maybe even healthy in the long run.

Those who have not experienced this situation yet with their own parents - and those in that situation right now - can benefit from a memoir like I’ll Be Seeing You because they will see that what they are feeling, but may be reluctant to say out loud, is all very normal. It is part of the cycle of life that none of us like to think about, but it is something that more and more of us are going to experience. So why not listen to what those who have already been there have to say?

I would have liked to hear more from Berg’s sister, the child who lived close enough to their parents to be their day-to-day caretaker. The author is quick - and she does it several times - to credit her sister as being the one who went the extra mile for their parents. And that is good to see. Having been the “local” in my father’s case, I know that that experience is a completely different one from the one those who live hours away have. And I wouldn’t have missed it for the world, because the years I spent in that role brought me closer, and to a better understanding, of my parents than I would have otherwise ever managed.

If you see this coming into your own life soon, do read I’ll Be Seeing You. It will help. ( )
1 rösta SamSattler | Jan 13, 2021 |
Perhaps the most moving memoir you'll ever read, especially if you are or have ever been part of that "sandwich" generation, caught between trying help your adult children and your aging parents. As always, Berg writes with grace and humor (and I've read probably a dozen or more of her books), but because of the sensitive subject of I'LL BE SEEING YOU, I found I had to keep putting the book aside for a time, remembering the last difficult months, weeks and days of my own mother, who died seven years ago at the age of 96. Because Berg pulls no punches here, in a book based on her very frank and intimate diary of the last years of her frail and aging parents, and the awful, wrenching decisions made in moving them from their St Paul home of forty-five years into a nearby assisted living facility. Her dad, at 90, was in the early stages of Alzheimer's, which complicated things even more. Variously wracked wirh guilt, anger and sadness, Berg spent much of her time for those years flying or driving back and forth from her home in Chicago, doing her best to help her sister who lived closer to her parents. In telling her story, we also get glimpses of the author's childhood (she was an Army brat who moved often) and youth (a college dropout who traveled to California with one of her boyfriends to sing in a band), as well as a failed marriage with two daughters, a nursing job, and regrets over subsequent relationships, feelings exacerbated when compared to her parents' own love story of nearly seventy years. Because this is a memoir of the very best kind - painfully honest, sometimes funny, but mostly - at least for me - heartbreakingly sad. Because reading Elizabeth Berg's story was a lot like sitting across the kitchen table from a dear friend as she spilled her guts about how guilty she felt, and how painful this whole thing was, trying to be responsible without being callous or controlling; understanding but firm, while all the time her heart was breaking, watching her parents' inevitable decline. It's just so damn SAD, ya know? Berg confides that she agonized over whether this should even BE a book, but some of her closest confidants urged her to publish it, saying it "would help people" who had gone through the same thing. And I concur. I still experience pangs of guilt over my own mom's last days in a nursing home, even though I visited often and tried my best to be attentive and a good son. And maybe these feelings will never go away completely, but Elizabeth, your friends were right. This book DID help. I know it was difficult to write, and my heart goes out to you. But thank you so much for sharing your story. It was, and will be, a balm to so many. Bless you. My very highest recommendation.

- Tim Bazzett, author of the memoir, BOOKLOVER ( )
  TimBazzett | Dec 9, 2020 |
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Or it might be, she thought, having lived long enough, she'd come to think of everyone close to her with a helpless tenderness, accepting that life was hard and people did their best.

           ---STEWART O'NAN, Emily Alone
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I am seventy years old.
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I went to bed and I lay in the darkness, thinking about how grief is the most private of negotiations between longing and reconciliation.
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"For as long as Elizabeth can remember, she has watched her father trail after her mother, kissing her multiple times a day and holding her hand. She watched her mother smooth the lines in her father's face and pay attention to his every move, even when she was desperate for some time to herself. When her parents began to age, Elizabeth and her siblings are placed in the difficult position of taking over more and more supportive roles and tasks. They fix their parents' home, negotiate finances, eventually weather the back and forth of will they or won't they move into a nursing facility; finally they do. Berg gracefully takes readers through navigating the emotional and physical challenger of guiding parents through the final stages of life. In this touching and heart-warming memoir, Berg includes raw accounts of disagreements, encouraging stubborn parents, and dealing with her own heartache and loss. Berg confront both the realities of the situation and the brighter, happy, funny and endearing moments and memories"--

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