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5/21/14 4:47 AM
I am curious to know how others would feel and think being in a certain life situation I find myself in at the moment. 
   I currently rent a room in a house owned by an elderly gentelman.  I have known him off and on for about 43 years. He is now 80, and suffering from terminal lung cancer.  Through out the years, we have met at his local pub, and talked about life, the universe, and everything.  In the early years he always gave the impression of being a very clever, wise man. He spent a number of years in scientology which gave him, he says, lots of self confidence. 
   But, over the years I started to notice that his apperence of self confidence was a cover for deep insecurity.  He had developed all sorts of conversational tricks to appear cleverer than he actually was.  Things like, making grandiose statements of metal development but then withholding any relevent information on how he had cultivated it.  Anything you brought up in conversation, he would interupt and procede to tell you how he had already done it, and how he did it better than you.  He never had anything good to say about anyone, always criticising whoever he spoke too,  just to make himself feel better and more superior.
   I rented a room temporarily,  as accomadation around here is expensive or cheap and nasty.  I had to pay quite a lot aswell, he was not prepared to be very helpful for a friend in need.  While here, his condiction was discovered and he started to deteriorate.  Gradualy I have been doing more and more for him, a carer as it were.  All the while, him, still being generaly rude and contemtive of others around him. (I should say, not all the time).  I can honestly say I do not like this mans personality.  Unfortunatly the "friendship" has been there a long time and compasion can allow us to put up with alot.  I feel, that this situation would be intorable if it was not for my years of off and on meditation.
   As I said at the begining I would like to hear others opinions on this situation.  But I would like to say one other thing. Bare in mind what I have said and formalate your opinion.  After you have done that, include this further piece of information and see if it changes your opinion.
   The elderly gentleman also happens to be my biological father. 

RE: Relationships
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5/21/14 7:41 AM as a reply to Thor Jackson.
I don't have very much to say, except that It must be very hard for you to be in this situation. To have a difficult relationship with a man who is now also dying.
If it were me I wouldn't have the illusion that someone can change, particularly at this age. My impression is that many men from his generation are completely unable to show any kind of 'weakness', like emotions. Men in that time were raised to be strong, to provide for the family and to show the whole world they were on top off any situation. So, I would not expect that an old and now dying man would be able to change a lot. But no matter what his personality is like, he must be very scared and he might not treat you well, but I assume you are all that he has left, so he probably feels supported by you. He might be unable to say so, but you are probably very important to him, he might even love you more than he will ever show you.

The question is; how is this situation for you? Would you be able to care for him until he dies? To sit it out, so to speak? Or is it impossible to do so. There are so many factors, financially, being a care taker, mentally  because of how he treats you and because you are his biological son. It must be very hard and scary for the both of you.
If you feel very uncomfortable because of the way he acts towards you (and others), would you think you might improve the relationship by just telling him that if he wants, he could let his guard down a little more towards you? That you would be open to it?

I was wondering whether you might want to discuss this with a buddhist chaplain or someone like that? Or some professional who works in a hospice for instance. They might have helpful advice for you?

However this goes, I wish you strength and I hope you find a way to deal with this heartbreaking situation.
Take care.

RE: Relationships
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6/8/14 8:21 AM as a reply to Thor Jackson.
It was interesting the way you posed it, revealing the relationship after painting the picture. It kind of gave my heart a twist. 

Im actually half way through watching a movie called Beginners which is about a 38 year old man's relationship with his dying father. I stopped to take a look on this site for some reason and then read your post! 

I also have question marks around my relationship with my father and I am a similar age. Im sure many of us do. I feel pulled between doing the right thing by him out of a sense of duty and respecting myself and my feelings.  

An Indian Ayurvedic doctor reminded me recently that our karma from this life and indeed past lives (both good and bad) can ripen at different times in our lives. All we can do is keep sowing the seeds of good karma NOW and this will protect us. He used the analogy of the good karma we perform now being like an umbrella protecting us from the rain (bad karma). It keeps raining but instead of getting soaked only our feet get wet. Im not sure how much I believe that but I kind of like it.  

Im curious.. how do you feel about being in this situation? 

RE: Relationships
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6/9/14 2:34 PM as a reply to Thor Jackson.
Well, in my opinion, what makes a 'family member' is their involvement in your life. Not that you considered him your 'father', you said 'biological father', so I'm assuming there is some distance between you and him either emotionally or mentally.

Everyone needs love, and it is very compassionate/wise of you to help this man out, father or not. Buddha speaks of 'unconditional' love. Love him regardless of how he treats others, regardless of the fact that he is your biological father.
He is a human being. All beings deserve to be loved, unconditionally. Including him.

I hope that helps. Good luck emoticon