Monday, July 21, 2003

on death and dying

okay, so i usually don't pontificate too much on this blog, but this weekend i've been doing a lot of thinking about having to personally deal with the death of a friend, and since this is my blog, i'm doing it here rather than the family blog.

our good friend john will very likely not live out the week. we dropped by on friday to take their family some dinner and talked with lisa (his wife) for a little while, then went into the living room to give john a kiss. he was still talking at that point, but sounding a little random occasionally. we stayed only briefly, gave him a kiss and told him we loved him.

i was thinking about him and his family all weekend. his wife sent a realyy wonderful heartfelt e-mail to everyone thanking them for their support and basically saying that the time for visits has come to an end, that john is really in a different place than she or any of us could ever imagine and the end is not far off. i realized then how selfish it seems to feel the need to say goodbye when someone is terminally ill. i mean, they know what's happening, and most of the time, they have come to terms with it. but for the living to feel like they have to say goodbye to get closure...i don't know, it just seems we should be focusing our energy making what is left of the lives of the terminally ill comfortable, what ever that means.

without saying the words 'good bye' to john, i feel now like that's what i did on friday when i kissed him and told him i loved him. from this point on, it's more important to me to keep an eye out for lisa and their three kids. they are the ones who will need our support most of all. when i came to this realization, i finally was able to cry for john, lisa and their family. it hadn't happened before, which i blame on the unfortunate fact that i have already had to deal with death a few times in the last 3-4 months. i think it was also because, until this weekend, i hadn't yet had my closure on john's battle with cancer, even though he's alive. it's still going to be tough when he dies, there's no doubt, but i think i'll be able to be a little stronger when it comes.

you may not share my opinion on all of this, but i can tell you that thinking it through and typing it all out has helped me (excuse the typos and gramatical errors-this is a stream of conciousness type of thing). hopefully, it may help someone else in the same situation.


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