I appreciate that you take no time to cut corners or soften the glow around Chip’s presence and the inconveniences he has brought to your life. I keep thinking that if someone were to criticize your initially condescending tone towards Chip, they would completely miss the points of how evidently you care and tend to him, which I guess is part of the point. Carving a space to honor that resentment and those grievances but maturely realizing that they pale in comparison to the uniquely human intensity for attachment and sense of duty, responsibility, and indebtedness.
I am particularly curious regarding how your experiences with loss have primed you to want to rise to the occasion when offered a chance to become a palliative caretaker. How have those experiences drastically recasted your attitude thereof? I still find it hard to realistically imagine myself not feeling so burdened with compassion fatigue in cases of self sacrifice, though it is easy for me to aspirationally want to not be those things.
I also enjoy how you don’t detract from the value of ritual attachment to others in the absence of intellectual attachment or earned appreciation. I think those things are very human yet seldom understood or recognized.
I enjoyed this post.