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Take a moment to appreciate your life

Times are strange right now, I think we can all see that. I feel like the world as we know it is on the verge of upheaval ... I just hope it works out for the best.

My personal world is certainly in a state of upheaval, and sadly there is too much that is not good. One friend is recuperating from emergency brain surgery, another from an appendectomy. Other friends are having their cat put to sleep. And another friend is dying and will most likely be gone by the end of the year, if not the end of the month.

I've been trying to sort out my thoughts and feelings about the dying friend, and it's a lot more difficult than I would have expected. First and foremost, it is an extremely sad, unfortunate situation. I cannot even begin to comprehend how difficult it must be to *know* you only have a short time to live - How do you plan the remainder of your time? What do you say to people? How does it not drive you batshit insane in the meantime?

This person is someone I was friends with about ten years ago, but have only seen a handful of times in the intervening years and now I just consider them an acquaintance. I don't feel it would be honest of me to boldly interject myself into their life right now, but neither do I have a reason to avoid them. I'm trying to figure out how to visit them one last time (because, hey, why not) but then what do we talk about? Certainly nothing along the "Hey, how ya doing?" lines, but do you bother ignoring the elephant in the room when his trunk is in your lap? I've been lucky in that I've had very few friends die before, and I've never had to watch someone slip away like this.

I find it interesting to watch what my brain wants to do, and it wants to pull away from the situation. My brain figures if it can make this person distant enough then their death will have less of an impact on me. It's all about protection of the self, I suppose. But the part of me that tries so hard to overcome my social awkwardness knows that's not the "right" thing to do. Even if this person doesn't need me through all of this, our mutual friends will need to lean upon one another for support. And I want to be a good friend, just like I hope others will be when I eventually need them.




( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 14th, 2011 10:51 pm (UTC)

I haven't had this happen to me yet with a friend, either. I am not sure.... how I would go about it. I see your hesitation, as an aquaintance, if you show up now, it is obvious why. But is that so bad?

Ugh. I am not sure.
Nov. 15th, 2011 12:32 am (UTC)
You nailed it, Carli.
(Deleted comment)
Nov. 15th, 2011 02:38 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Joe :)
Nov. 15th, 2011 09:29 am (UTC)
Since I'm 99% I know who you're talking about, I think at this point a kindly worded letter would be a good option. Let them know how they touched your life and that you are thinking about them. I don't think they are up for visitors so it might just stress both of you out. In all honesty, an in person visit is unlikely to be quality time spent with them. It is hard to say that but it's been on my mind pretty much non-stop for the past 24 hours (and on and off for the past many months).

Nov. 15th, 2011 02:42 pm (UTC)
Yes, it's the same person. It's been on my mind all weekend as well. I like the idea of a letter, and if they eventually say they are up for and accepting visitors I can do that, too.
Nov. 15th, 2011 05:47 pm (UTC)
Agreed. I have no idea who it is, but in general, I think a letter is a good start. Maybe they barely remember you, maybe they wish they'd stayed better in touch with you and miss you.
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )