A friend of mine was diagnosed with Cancer this past year. I learned of this in August and went to visit with him briefly when I heard. He seemed fine and also confident that his doctors would treat and put this dreaded “C” in remission. Well, multiple Chemo treatments, two fund raising benefits, and multiple doctor visits later, the treatments are not working and they are now just killing the pain and waiting. He is 51 years old, with a teenage daughter and not yet ready to die.
I went to see him again yesterday, along with another friend, to hopefully bring some cheer into his day and spend some time together. I have known and loved this man for over 25 years. We were once engaged, and he still holds a very special place in my heart. I found myself at a loss for words, I did not know how to bring up “the good times” because I was too worried for him. I saw so much pain in his eyes and I could not erase the pain from mine. I’m glad that we were not alone, because I think I would have just cried, I was certainly at a loss for words. Mercifully, after two hrs, he was tired, and wanted to sleep. I felt relieved, I wanted to leave..but I really didn’t. I didn’t say what I wanted to say….but still don’t know what it is that i need to say! I don’t want to say good bye, he is not gone. I don’t know how to be cheerful, when there is so much pain. I talked about this to my friend who visited him with me and she also had the same thoughts. My friend wanted to say to him “hey, don’t have too much fun with my dad” (her father passed a few years back), but she dared not. I feel as though we have an elephant in the room that everyone is avoiding, but we all know he is there. What is the right thing to do?
I will make it a point to visit with him as much as possible..but what do you say to someone who is dying?