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Visiting a dying friend

 
 
Reply Wed 17 Sep, 2008 02:32 pm
Tomorrow I am going to visit my friend of 53 years who is dying of lung cancer; I am both sad a challenged. I would die for her if I could. I am coping with losing her, but she is coping with losing everything, even herself. She asked me if she should pray for a miracle, and I told her it couldn't hurt. But I am not comfortable offering religious platitudes. I know we'll be okay once we start talking. I'm just nervous about how to begin
 
Cliff Hanger
 
  2  
Reply Wed 17 Sep, 2008 02:39 pm
@mags314772,
Of course it's unspeakably sad, but in the remaining time you have together why not make it a celebration of her life and your friendship?
Eva
 
  2  
Reply Wed 17 Sep, 2008 02:40 pm
@mags314772,
"I don't know what to say. I just wanted to be here."

That's a good place to start.
mags314772
 
  1  
Reply Wed 17 Sep, 2008 02:42 pm
@Cliff Hanger,
that's a helpful suggestion. Our lifelong friendship has been about laughter through marriages, children, happy times and sad.
0 Replies
 
mags314772
 
  2  
Reply Wed 17 Sep, 2008 02:42 pm
@Eva,
it is
Eva
 
  2  
Reply Wed 17 Sep, 2008 03:03 pm
@mags314772,
I spent yesterday evening with a friend who found out last Friday that her husband is dying. It isn't so much what you say...it's just the "being there" that counts.
mags314772
 
  3  
Reply Wed 17 Sep, 2008 03:09 pm
@Eva,
I don't know why I'm so worried about this...there's never been an awkward moment between us in all the time I've known her. She confided to me that she knew she was dying when she couldn't tell her family, and I accepted that without trying to talk her out of it in any way. She lives in another city, and this may be the last time I see her, although we talk on the phone all the time. It just seems so precious and I want to get it just right.
Izzie
 
  2  
Reply Wed 17 Sep, 2008 03:19 pm
@mags314772,
mags314772 wrote:

...there's never been an awkward moment between us in all the time I've known her.


Hey Mags...

It won't be awkward hun - it will be terribly hard to believe this could be the last time you see her ..... but mags...... what would you "normally" do when you see her.....

would you walk up and hug her....?

would you kiss her cheek...?

Mags... do what you have always done with her - show her your smile, as well as tears, if they come.

You don't need to be brave for her... she won't expect you to be brave, she told you before she told everyone else because she has trust and love for you...

when you see her... hug her big and hold her tight.... say whatever comes into your head at the time - your heart will win out in the end, and the thoughts of what you ought and oughtn't to say will just disappear when you see her.

So very hard for you and for her.... but you get the chance to tell her how good it's been to share her life... laugh with her, remember all those wonderful things, celebrate her life - and then hold her tight.

Let us know if you are alright.... it will be hard to walk away - but remember her with all the good thoughts - make it a day to remember when you see her. Not sad... a special time with a special friend. Every moment will be precious.

Best wishes hun....
eoe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 17 Sep, 2008 03:22 pm
@mags314772,
Your emotions are all jumbled up. You're apprehensive about facing one of life's most challenging situations. My closest friend and I have been together for 36 years so, it's not so hard to imagine.

I think that when you're looking in her eyes and it's time for you to speak, you'll know exactly what to say.
0 Replies
 
mags314772
 
  2  
Reply Wed 17 Sep, 2008 03:27 pm
@Izzie,
What you say feels just right. I'm still grieving for Noddy, with whom I exchanged daily emails for seven years. Seems like I'm losing everybody. My husband has prostate cancer...being monitored currently.
mags314772
 
  2  
Reply Wed 17 Sep, 2008 03:29 pm
I'm crying as I read your responses. I think I needed a good cry before I see her. I was rather apprehensive about posting on this subject, but I'm so very glad I did.
Izzie
 
  1  
Reply Wed 17 Sep, 2008 03:35 pm
@mags314772,
Oh hun..... challenges each day that we don't expect.... but somehow, someway, you find a way to deal it. You are very blessed to have had Noddy in your life... and yep, grieving...

tomorrow, you get to say goodbye without saying goodbye... it's not really goodbye - you really will know what to do when you walk thru the door, it will just come to you -

I hope you find something wonderful to laugh about - your memories need laughter mags... your friend just needs her friend, nothing more, nothing less. She's very fortunate to have your friendship - tomorrow will be good for you both - it's time....

She may be as worried as you. When all else fails, just wrap your arms around each other.

So sorry about your hubby too. Much for you and yours to deal with. You will tho... you will.
0 Replies
 
Izzie
 
  2  
Reply Thu 18 Sep, 2008 03:47 pm
@mags314772,
hey mags..... how're you? thinking of you.
mags314772
 
  2  
Reply Thu 18 Sep, 2008 04:39 pm
@Izzie,
hi izzie"
Visited with my friend this afternoon; we didn't have any time alone without our husbands. We stayed until she got very tired, and are going back tomorrow morning. Before we left home this morning, I had the dry heaves and loose stomach....lifelong symptoms of anxiety. We'll see what happens tomorrow.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Sep, 2008 04:42 pm
@mags314772,
Mags, oh, Mags.

I do hope you get time alone with her, even if it is just quiet time.
0 Replies
 
eoe
 
  2  
Reply Thu 18 Sep, 2008 04:45 pm
Mags, you and your friend need time together w/o husbands.
mags314772
 
  2  
Reply Thu 18 Sep, 2008 05:22 pm
@eoe,
I talked to my husband about this over dinner, and he agrees. He is willing to bow out, but we're not sure about her husband. It's almost as though he's trying to shield her, to protect her. I can't fault him for that; they've been married 45 years.
mags314772
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Sep, 2008 05:24 pm
@mags314772,
Oh, and one other thing. Her white blood counts are so critically low that she can't risk hugging anyone.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Sep, 2008 05:24 pm
@mags314772,
So, perhaps some timing involved?
Not that would be easy. Any particularly kind nurse?
0 Replies
 
mags314772
 
  5  
Reply Thu 18 Sep, 2008 05:25 pm
@eoe,
I just realized I replied to myself. That'll give you some small notion of how things are churning. I also just had two bloody marys.
 

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