Friends with Cancer

Recently I was reacquainted with a friend. Similar to what many people are experiencing, my friend has cancer. Another friend has cancer and another has died, it seems like everyone is dying. WHAT IS THIS ALL ABOUT?

Part of me wants to say woo, is it catchy? Another part of me wants to run and hide or do something proactive to stay protected from what might come, BUT what this really screams at me is to…Enjoy every moment I have and be grateful for the small things in life. Tell my family and friends more often, I care and love them.

Now seriously, cancer and other illnesses are a fact of life in every age category. Have you given any thought to how you would deal with a friend who is dying? Have you thought of how you would want your friends to be with you if you were dying? Hmmm, have I got you thinking?

A few things to consider are the severity of the illness; how well an individual is able to handle visits, the needs that are required and can you assist in the care if necessary. Another concern is if you are mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually ready for the changes that are to come or have already begun.

Perhaps, the challenges of dealing with the emptiness and loss when they have died will create unanticipated changes. For some, there may be no one else to talk with. No one else who knows you as well as your friend does.

I read an article of a man in his late 90’s who went to the emergency room of a hospital with suicidal thoughts. A doctor overheard this man say to the attending physician, “I know no one anymore. My last friend died”.

Death can happen to anyone at any time. Cancer or any other illness can deprive someone of a longer life.

Prepare yourself with being aware and prepared to help yourself with the “what to do now” question after a friend dies. Sitting home alone crying for days may sound good, but do not use this as your long term solution?

Often I ask my clients who are struggling with their loss, “What would your friend want you to do now”, “What would you want your friend to do if the roles were reversed”? The replies are all the same; they want the surviving person to be happy, find joy in life and go on living. How about you?