photo of two crumpled cars after a car wreck. front of light gray car smashed against drivers side of a black car

A little over two years ago, my family was involved in a catastrophic car accident overseas. My younger sibling was killed, and my parents survived but are severely disabled. My father is quadriplegic, while my mother has a traumatic brain injury resulting in severe cognitive impairment.

My spouse and I were overseas for several months with my parents before they stabilized and were evacuated back to the United States. Then, over the next year (we don’t live in the same city) we traveled to their city often to help manage transitions from the hospital to rehab, to where they are now (both live with 24-hour care). My extended family lives entirely abroad and, for the most part, does not speak English. Therefore, I also help (and plan to help for the rest of my parents’ lives) to manage all of their financial and administrative matters, including trusts that I helped set up, applying for benefits, taxes, etc.

My father’s parents have reacted to his disability with the attitude that it is my duty to do everything he is unwilling to do (or ensure that someone else does it), and they believe it is appropriate for me to move to his city to manage his day-to-day affairs and for me to care-take emotionally for him to spare him further pain (e.g., for me to arrange all matters relating to my sibling).

My question is: What duty do I owe my father and grandparents?

Read more in the New York Times.

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