I discovered too late that I really knew so little about so many deceased friends and colleagues, and only found out about some of their remarkable exploits and achievements when reading their obituaries.
You would think that Deb may be a little off her rocker if she's celebrating Christmas in August. Or, you would think she is completely lazy for not taking down the tree eight months ago. But, no, Deb is neither crazy nor lazy. Deb... is dying.
When you ask, "How's he doing?" accept that it's in your and my best interest for me to be non-specific. So I have to say, "He's doing okay," and leave it at that. We can then be appreciative that you asked, and you can be thankful to not know more. They say the devil is in the details.
That phrase broke through the heavy curtain of my grief. Don't go to the funeral today. It even let a little sunshine in. He was right. Unlike a sudden death, we have more time to live together. We have each day.
I put on blue rubber gloves to protect my skin from the poison I stirred into her pudding and ice cream. God help me. It is heart-wrenching to spoon-feed your daughter poison that you know, at its optimum, will provide a few more weeks to her cruelly young life. But that is precisely what we did.
The challenges that families must face when confronted with a terminal diagnosis of a loved one are complex. They include evolving new structures and dynamics as the person they love slowly slips away.