Thursday, March 8, 2007

He is Close

A while back, a friend’s aunt graciously joined me for lunch and recounted her experiences with her terminal father, who was also felled by lung cancer. At the time I was unnerved, even almost horrified by her descriptions. My dad was still able to get up and walk around a bit. He was lucid and engaging. I felt relieved that I would have some time—months, I thought—to prepare and steel myself. And to say ‘good bye’. Our lunch was three weeks ago from today.

The hospice organization since has given my family a booklet detailing ‘end–of–life’ symptoms. It corroborates my discussion and lists additional symptoms. And it’s all happening. Now. Just the way my friend’s aunt said it would. All of it. Including the symptoms in the book.

I won’t enumerate them but you can read about the symptoms here and/or here. Everything is shutting down. Everything is failing. By my comprehension, death is just days or perhaps even hours away.

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