What to Do With a Dying Friend or Family Member


Do you ignore the subject and pretend everything’s okay?  Do you ask a billion questions – like, how does that tumor feel, Howard?…it must be killing you – oooppppsss…sorry about that…..

Do you take a gander through their medicine cabinet or bathroom drawers?  If you see a pill in a bottle labeled “Heavy Duty MORPHINE – Can Drop an Elephant in it’s Tracks?” do you grab it?  I’m not kidding here; we have had family and friends steal our pain meds.  Ask anyone on meds for pain, and you’ll hear some bizarre stories of what people will do to get your medicine!

We all need a compass now and then!

The past few years have been an interesting and kind of sad experience of watching friends and family squirm over the situation.  It’s not easy for us either . . . honest.

Because of the oddity of what we have – you don’t meet many people with poisoning ’cause 1) it doesn’t happen that much, and 2) if it does happen, the end is usually pretty darn quick.  Unfortunately we have been lingering with it which is a real dilemna.

Most people who visit us are kind and considerate to the point that we want to tell them to lighten up a little because we depress ourselves enough without having someone else involved with the depression too!  I like visitors, but cannot take them for too long because I get worn out in about 20 minutes.  Seriously, a 10 minute phone call can wipe me out for 3 hours…

Where were we?

Oh yeah…what you can do to HELP a dying friend or family member…Someday I’ll give you a list of what NOT to say, do, or steal…but for the moment, I’ll dwell on “what’s a good thing.”

  • Good things are not STUFF.  Most dying people are busy trying to get rid of our stuff; not get more!  If it’s small and emotionally significant, that’s cool, but a big lamp for the living room just doesn’t do the trick!
  • Weed — I’ve got a medical marijuana card from the state (if I don’t smoke or eat it – someone will) (and hopefully not steal it!)
  • Schwann’s gift card (got that from Richard’s sister Angela…the best idea of the century!)  The food is good, it involves very little preparation time and no clean – up – – just throw the package away when done
  • A funny book with really big print (our medications have ruined our eyesight,) so if you give me a book with small print, you had better plan to sit right down and read that book outloud to me or take it home with you
  • Drop by and just do my dishes without saying a word
  • Ditto on cleaning the bathroom
  • Ditto on cleaning the cat-box
  • Before you plan to come over – CALL US first!  We may be too tuckered out to deal with company, and you wouldn’t want to be a pest, would you?!
  • Bring a funny movie that you KNOW I haven’t seen before
  • Just sit there and hang out – – but keep the sighing to a minimum, okay?!
  • Lie and tell me you’re planning to go to the store for yourself and ask if there’s anything you can pick up for the sick person.  We may know you’re lying sometimes, but sure appreciate the help

So, there’s a few ideas, for what they’re worth.  Thanks for considering the “To Do” list!  Whatever you do, remember we love to see beautiful photos…when you know there’s a sure-time limit to beauty to look at – – you enjoy seeing beauty in everything, every day!

Tahiti Sunrise

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