"What it can mean to survive deep loss and keep living without losing yourself entirely, without self-recrimination or self-punishment."
It's so hard - there's no central resource of help available (a page of links is not help), there's so much more need than help available (which is only going to get worse), and people want to believe that it won't happen to them so they do mental contortions to make it seem like it was a matter of bad choices instead of the luck of the draw. It was my primary source of anxiety as I would do the math every week of how long we could afford to keep mom in memory care. The rates went up (those increases went to better wages, so I was happy for that) and memory care was only an option because of the survivor benefit from dad's pension. Not many of us have those anymore. It's something we're going to need to reckon with as a society.
Thank you for this interview; I appreciate how much time, love, and thoughtfulness you put into everything you add to Substack. You are a gift to this community. I'm grateful to read your words.
Oh man, as someone on the verge of having to apply for Medicaid for a parent who is outliving his remaining assets this hits home.
I still think of Nicole as Nikki because of The Toast!
Loved this interview, very much looking forward to reading A Living Remedy.
This was on the 'new books for immediate checkout for 2 weeks' special display at the front of the library when I was in picking up holds the other day, and I almost impulse-grabbed it (but then realized adding another book would lead to overdue books, so didn't). So now I need to add it to my queue I guess...
Truly one of my favorite people. Phenomenal book(s) and work.
This is so beautiful. Especially her words at the end about what her parents left her in that she was enough for them by just being herself. I hope I can do that for my kids.
To add to the conversation around social safety nets and healthcare inequality, I recommend checking out “The Deficit Myth” by Stephanie Kelton.
A common and flawed argument against social safety nets and healthcare is that it increases the deficit. This is an argument I’ve heard from people all over the world, not just the USA.
Kelton emphasizes that the real limits on government spending are inflation and resource availability, not the deficit or debt levels. She also challenges the notion that governments must rely on taxes or borrowing to finance spending, asserting that governments with sovereign currencies have the power to create money. We need a shift in economic thinking and urge policymakers to focus on the potential of government spending to drive economic growth, reduce inequality, and address societal needs.
And I’m sure most people in the Culture Study community already know that many of the most stable economies in the world are ones with strong social democracies.
I just started reading A Living Remedy a couple of days ago so this interview was a timely treat. She's such a talented writer.