My Grandmother’s Funeral, Or, Isolation and Chronic Illness

Nearly twenty years after my paternal grandmother’s funeral, I still feel deep sadness when I remember that day. As I stood in front of the room reading a poem I had written to commemorate her life I realized that the only people in attendance were her immediate family and two women who had lived next door to my grandparents for thirty years. Two illnesses—alcoholism and dementia—had so isolated my grandmother that by the time of her…
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