I’m at the conclusion of four days spent in the Florida Isolation Tank, impervious to the volume of outside contact. Thank goodness I didn’t go there for clarity, because I seem to have returned with a piece of my mother’s ever-deepening haze.

She is in rapid decline. Her moments of lucidity are peppered with confusion and mini-hallucinations. Her independence is at stake and it is a race between the deterioration of her mind and her sheer will. She still exhibits moments of her former tenacity. Today she was clear she is not enjoying my choice of hair color. I was grateful for a moment of motherly criticism and normalcy.

Now decisions must be made, or at least thought about, to let her continue to live on her own in a haze or get her into a group home or institution of some kind with round-the-clock care.

And so I pray, or something close to it, and ask No One In Particular — choose, if you must: God? the Universe? some dead people I used to know, who maybe now have some influence in these matters? — to have some mercy and allow her to pass peacefully, sooner rather than later, for the sake of what remains of her sanity and ours.

Anyone listening?