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I've been doing much better these past few days than I was last week. The acute stress I had been feeling is gone, and I'm sure that's a result of my friend's passing. When death is imminent waiting for it to happen can be even more difficult than dealing with death itself.

I can't help but compare J.D.'s death with that of my friend Howard, who died 3.5 years ago. They were both younger than me, they each had cancer and knew in advance they were going to go. The difference was Howard didn't tell anyone he was ill; he dealt with it on his own, in silence, and his death came as a sudden and awful surprise to his friends. I can certainly understand why he did such a thing - he didn't want people to feel sorry for him, he didn't want to be an emotional burden on anyone, and, private person that he was, he probably didn't want to deal with people expressing intense feelings towards him.

In contrast, J.D. handled his situation the opposite way. He publicly announced and explained his illness and his prognosis, and his friends knew when the end was drawing near. It was amazing seeing the outpouring of love and memories being posted in places such as Facebook. That must have made things easier for him, knowing he had the support of so many people. I can only hope Howard knew just how many people loved and appreciated him, and that we still remember him fondly years later.



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Nov. 22nd, 2011 06:52 am (UTC)
Howard has been in my mind a lot lately, too, for exactly the reasons you mentioned.
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