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Empathy for the elderly

September 26, 2008

Re "Man, 84, accused of trying to kill wife, 85," Sept. 23

My heart aches for James Wheeler, who is accused of attempting to kill his ailing wife and himself.

Because of stroke-induced dementia, my husband didn't even know me or his two adult children at the end of his life, at age 69. Unless you have experienced this for yourself, it is impossible to know how difficult it can be. My daughter, who was expecting her daughter the same year that my husband passed away, was crushed that she couldn't tell her dad that he would be a grandfather again.

I pray that Wheeler is sent home without any penalties, that his family is provided with help for his wife, and that he be at peace.

Barbara A. Hall

Pasadena

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