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The Survivors


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What changes have Brian's dementia had on Kieran's relationship with his family?

Created: 01/28/21

Replies: 12

Posted Jan. 28, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 2619

What changes have Brian's dementia had on Kieran's relationship with his family?

Kieran's relationship with his parents was irrevocably changed after his brother's death. What new changes does it seem Brian's dementia has brought about in the family, whether positive and negative?


Posted Jan. 28, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
ScribblingScribe

Join Date: 02/29/16

Posts: 140

RE: What changes have Brian's dementia had on Kieran's relationship with his family?

Brian's dementia added levels of confusion and uncertainty to their relationship. Kieran could no longer understand his father and could not find the forgiveness he so desperately needed. It also added a sense of fear when they did not know what Brian had been doing during an episode. All of this uncertainty added to Kieran's sense of disconnection from his family and home town.


Posted Jan. 29, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
paulak

Join Date: 04/21/11

Posts: 187

RE: What changes have Brian's dementia had on Kieran's relationship with his family?

I found this story line heart breaking, yet flawlessly captured. Brian's dementia is the medical damage that has afflicted Brian since the storm yet all characters have damage, most more subtle but no less tragic.


Posted Jan. 30, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
PKH

Join Date: 01/29/21

Posts: 34

RE: What changes have Brian's dementia had on Kieran's relationship with his family?

I think it's a shame that Brians's increasing levels of confusion will mean that he will never really understand what happened and that his memories will always blame Kieran. Kieran will never get forgiveness from his father, because his father only understands the past. And Kieran has to live with that the rest of his life.


Posted Jan. 30, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
acstrine

Join Date: 02/06/17

Posts: 293

RE: What changes have Brian's dementia had on Kieran's relationship with his family?

I'm not sure that Brian's dementia has really affected his relationship with Kieran any more than the events on the day of the storm already did. Kieran recalls finding a questionnaire his father filled out shortly after the accident listing his thoughts about Finn and Kieran's actions that day. Brian had been unable to complete how he felt about Kieran's role. I can't remember where this was exactly in the book, but once Brian refused to come to the phone to speak with Kieran on the anniversary (pre dementia or post dementia?). The illness has completely wiped Kieran from Brian's memory, but I believe Brian had been trying to do that on his own for a long time already. I don't know if learning the truth about that day, had he been healthy, would have changed Brian's mind about the truth he created and lived with after the loss of Finn. I don't know that Verity will have the time she needs to process the new information and work on REALLY healing her relationship with Kieran. She will be busy with Brian, and she hasn't really given time to consider a move to Sydney. While Kieran obviously feels hurt by both his mother and father, he found a way to stay ahead of the overwhelming feelings, he used the tools he was given in therapy, and he built an honest and open relationship with Mia. Kieran now has his own family. I think that will give him the sense of peace he needs to move forward.

Oh, I found it interesting that Verity stopped correcting Brian- -or reminding him, rather, that Kieran WAS NOT Finn. Maybe one is not supposed to correct a person with dementia. For me, this just reinforced how little both concerned themselves with the feelings, well being, and mental health of their LIVING son.


Posted Feb. 04, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
susiej

Join Date: 10/15/14

Posts: 330

RE: What changes have Brian's dementia had on Kieran's relationship with his family?

When Kieran returns home, he seems to tred lightly around his parents - his father, of course, does not even remember him - but as acstrine mentions above, he could have been doing this years before any of this happened. His first-born son was obviously very important to him. Kieran's mother, left alone in Evelyn Bay to care for her now ailing husband, is tired and has slipped into doing what is easiest for her and best for her husband - and that seems to have practically eliminated Kieran from talk or thought - especially since Brian has no recollection anyway. Dementia is a cruel mistress who takes as much from a care-giver as it does the ill. Harper may be trying to make this point, and show her readers that it does not necessarily have to be this way. Thankfully, she brings Verity back to reality, allows her to learn the truth, and gives her the time and opportunity to make amends with Kieran.


Posted Feb. 04, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
debrav

Join Date: 08/16/11

Posts: 30

RE: What changes have Brian's dementia had on Kieran's relationship with his family?

That was a very sad part of the book for me— Brian’s treatment of Kieran after the accident was deplorable, it made him an unlivable character for me. His mother also. I would hope that most parents would cherish the child they had left.


Posted Feb. 04, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
judithc

Join Date: 02/28/20

Posts: 25

RE: What changes have Brian's dementia had on Kieran's relationship with his family?

I think Brian’s dementia had very little affect on Kieran’s relationship with his parents mainly because he had been distanced from it for 10 years. Verity might have had more time to deal with Kieran’s loneliness and feelings of guilt if she hadn’t had to spend so much of her energy caring for Brian and Kieran had been more present in their lives. I have a lot of empathy for Verity because I am in the exact situation. My husband has dementia and I am his sole caregiver.


Posted Feb. 04, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
vivianh

Join Date: 11/14/11

Posts: 108

RE: What changes have Brian's dementia had on Kieran's relationship with his family?

It was just the trajectory of life. Kieran had to accept the challenges his mother was faced with. But I don’t think it affected the story much other than to cause Kieran to want to protect his dad. I don’t think Kieran ever imagined his father had perpetrated a crime.


Posted Feb. 04, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
cindyb

Join Date: 04/14/20

Posts: 46

RE: What changes have Brian's dementia had on Kieran's relationship with his family?

I think Brian’s dementia had little impact on his fractured relationship with his father but may have caused him to be more tolerant and patient with his mother. It reminded the reader that we don’t always get the forgiveness we want from others in our life. We must forgive ourselves to move forward successfully.


Posted Feb. 07, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Mary Alice

Join Date: 01/14/18

Posts: 22

RE: What changes have Brian's dementia had on Kieran's relationship with his family?

This was one of the saddest parts of the novel as far as Kieran was concerned. He was able to make things right with his mother, but it was too late to do so with his father. That list Brian made was so telling as to Brian’s thoughts about what he felt about Kieran.


Posted Feb. 24, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
slp54me

Join Date: 12/09/20

Posts: 4

RE: What changes have Brian's dementia had on Kieran's relationship with his family?

I agree with debrav on this. I was uncomfortable and upset with how Kieran’s parents treated him. Finn was supposedly the “golden son” but turns out not so much. Though Kieran didn’t realize that. His parents could have and should have done better. Now of course, it’s too late for Brian. Verity has slot on her plate now but I would hope she and Kieran discuss all this and become closer. Kieran made it through with the therapist, swimming and Mia and baby.


Posted Feb. 26, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
taking.mytime's Gravatar
taking.mytime

Join Date: 03/29/16

Posts: 261

RE: What changes have Brian's ...

I think fear set in for Kiernan around his fathers dementia. Is he seeing himself in a few years? Will he lose his ability to know his wife and daughter in his later years? Having already lost his brother, now his father to dementia, that puts all the family responsibility on him. It is not bad enough that his father has called him by his dead brothers name, but being around his father is a constant reminder of the accident - which is where his father is stuck in time. Kiernan wants to put time and distance between himself and his father. He hates that his mother has to dedicate all her time to his father, but he wants nothing to do with that end of it. Kiernan would like to close his eyes to the whole dementia problem and just see the good and future in his wife and daughter, not the past in his parents and the guilt in having a part in taking his older brother from the family. Something he does not believe his father ever forgave him for.


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