Thursday, June 28, 2007

Saying Goodbye to Those You Love

Journal from August, 2003

I have heard stories about people who died of an illness and their family never even knew they were sick to begin with. They hid their medical prognosis and died alone. How could someone not let their family know they were dying? Why would they be so secretive? Were they cowards or martyrs? I never understood this.

I never understood…until now. Doctor Newland told me weeks ago that I only had six months to live and I still haven’t told my family. I just got back from a week at the beach in which everyone was there. All I could think about was telling them. I didn’t have any fun and I was being a real bitch because all I could think about was whether or not to take this opportunity to reveal my news and ruin their vacation. Ultimately, I left without saying anything. A few miles from the beach house, I pulled over to the side of the road and contemplated going back to make my announcement. I just couldn’t do it. I left the beach and cried most of the way home.

When is the right time to tell all of the people you love that this is the end of the line? What day is a good day for learning this information? A weekend, perhaps, so you can process before you go back to work? But I’ve just ruined their weekend. Should I tell them individually or as a group? Can I just keep this information to myself? Would that be wrong?

This is, by far, the hardest thing I have ever had to do. I wish I could just run away and die alone. I get it now, I really do.

3 comments:

OB Doctor said...

The hardest issues we must deal with often have "no good way" to handle/address/communicate them, but not addressing them usually makes things worse.

raecatherine said...

hi sick girl--i have great sympathy for your plight. as an oncology nurse, i know (albeit secondhand) how difficult this is for families...sooner is always better than later, and maybe since this is so heart-wrenching for you, your husband's help could be enlisted in informing your family.

triallawyers said...

I hope you have found a solution to your problem of telling your family. However, whatever you decided it IS THE RIGHT WAY!! It's the right way for YOU, and right now it IS about YOU! Do it the way YOU want!! God Bless.