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Cartoonist Roz Chast on Caring for Her Ageing Parents

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Roz Chast with her parents Roz Chast with her parents (Roz Chast/Roz Chast)

Cartoonist Roz Chast talks about her experience caring for her ageing parents. Her memoir Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant? spans the last several years of her parents’ lives and is told through four-color cartoons, family photos, and documents, and a narrative that’s both humorous and sobering. It’s a portrait of two lives at their end and an only child coping as best she can.

 

Roz Chast The Wheel of Doom

Roz Chast, from Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant? Published by Bloomsbury.

Roz Chast

Roz Chast, from Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant? Published by Bloomsbury.

Roz Chast

Roz Chast, from Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant? Published by Bloomsbury.

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Roz Chast

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Comments [5]

ccinjc

Why this is an important conversation is because it is the standard in our society medical/health system for the children to send the parent or parents to an assisted living facility.
She stated that her mother had her mental faculties. Then many are plugged with drugs to reduce anxiety and pain and they become incoherent for almost a week until the body shuts down. Not to blame but perhaps I prefer some greater awareness to it.

May. 22 2014 02:38 PM
tom LI

I can give the guest a small dose of sympathy, not much empathy. She seems rather disconnected to the whole experience with her parents last days. I was there for mine, basically ran their own private nursing home out of their house, the Family home. It was both hell and a blessing.

The guest has the usual guilt, apparent in her term - "the Place" - referring to the Nursing home. Seems whenever I run into people who put their parent/s in one they use euphemisms to refer to the Nursing home. The Place, the Home, the Gardens, etc. Call it what it is, its the first step to dealing with the reality of being the child to put them on that final trip.

May. 22 2014 01:09 PM
Tony from UWS

Roz Chast has been my favorite cartoonist for a very long time. I read this book last week, 18 months after losing my mother. It is one of the best books of any kind that I have ever read. Thank you, Ms. Chast.

May. 22 2014 12:56 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

What's the big deal here? A hippy dippie learning about old age and death? Why is this even a topic of conversation? And what did she do for them anyway? It sounds like they were doing well without her over the years.
But definitely the last few months of life is what costs the most. WHo was paying for it, private assets or medicaid?

May. 22 2014 12:55 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

What's the big deal here? A hippy dippie learning about old age and death? Why is this even a topic of conversation? And what did she do for them anyway? It sounds like they were doing well without her over the years.
But definitely the last few months of life is what costs the most. WHo was paying for it, private assets or medicaid?

May. 22 2014 12:54 PM

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