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A friend of mine was given six months to live

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by kingcreole, Mar 25, 2009.

  1. kingcreole

    kingcreole Active Member

    He worked with me for a few years before cancer wiped him out. Guy can make anyone laugh, and he was huge for me when I moved to my current paper/town. We call him Elvis because he would suddenly break into song, and after awhile, we were convinced he had to be Elvis Presley. One of my daughters really didn't know how to handle that because she "thought the real Elvis was dead."

    Any ways, the problem I have is I cannot stand going to hospitals to see friends and family who are sick and dying. I couldn't stand being near my grandpa when he died about 10 years ago because it wasn't him. When my uncle died of cancer nearly 20 years ago, same deal. We always went to the hospital after he was terminal, and I couldn't stand it.

    I need to go and take my family to see Elvis. I know he'd appreciate it. I saw him when my boy was in hospital in December, and it was still tough for me. But I don't know if I can handle it now. Am I the only one who feels this way? Do I just need to get over it and do the right thing?

    I wish I could just pack up the family and go over there, but I know seeing Elvis is going to tear me up. Gawd, I feel like a combination of a wuss and selfish asshole.
  2. alleyallen

    alleyallen Guest

    Nothing wrong with feeling that way. Visiting dying friends or family in the hospital is, sadly, something that causes selfish emotions because it reminds us of our own immortality.

    My thought would be for you to write something for him. Short, simple, a recollection of funny times and a thanks for such a wonderful personal connection. If he can still write, perhaps he can do the same. Or you could even let him dictate to you.

    Maybe something like that -- out of the ordinary -- would make the visit a bit easier.

    Sympathies and thoughts to you and your friend.
  3. I Digress

    I Digress Guest

    You should be sad. It is sad. But consider this. When your friend has passed, what will rip you up more.. having seen him, or having not been able to make yourself do it? One of my key philosophies of life is to not waste regret on the things I never did. I'd much rather regret things I did.. but have often found once I did them.. no regrets.
  4. expendable

    expendable Well-Known Member

    What he said. You won't regret going to see him after you've gone to see him as much as you will if you didn't go to see him. It will brighten his day too. Perhaps, before you take the family it would be worth it to call to see if he's having a "good day."
  5. forever_town

    forever_town Well-Known Member

    Look, I hate seeing people in terminal states or those who are a shell of their former selves as much as anyone.

    But still, go visit. And bring your kids to see Elvis.

    It sounds like your friend still has his mental faculties. It'll be better for him to feel like you're not shunning him because he's terminal.

    It's better for him, it's better for your kids, but most importantly, it's better for you in the long run.
  6. Dyno

    Dyno Well-Known Member

    I say this as someone who has spent more time with relatives in hospitals than anyone I know: suck it up and go. It's not pleasant, it's not fun and it can be horrifying, but you need to go and be there for your friend.
  7. JakeandElwood

    JakeandElwood Well-Known Member

    Sorry to hear that, kc.

    Think of it this way, it might be bad for you (and you shouldn't beat yourself up for feeling that way) but it would probably really brighten his day.
  8. Steak Snabler

    Steak Snabler Well-Known Member

    Word for word.

    When your friend's gone, not only will you no longer be able to spend time with him, but he'll no longer be able to spend time with you. When you think about it that way, it's an easy decision.
  9. Dyno

    Dyno Well-Known Member

    One more note: make sure you check with his family on when the best time to visit is. There might be a particular time of day when he's feeling better or has more energy and you don't want to go during the time he normally naps or feels like crap because he's just had some kind of treatment.
  10. ArnoldBabar

    ArnoldBabar Active Member

    You won't hate yourself later for going, but you'll hate yourself later if you didn't. This is one of those situations where you have to keep in mind that it's not about you.
  11. HandsomeHarley

    HandsomeHarley Well-Known Member

    No need to feel this way.

    Hell, with what this guy is going through, I'm the one who feels foolish (crossthread).
  12. mike311gd

    mike311gd Active Member

    My grandpa died 11 years ago, and I never said goodbye. I went with my family to the hospital, and -- at 14 -- my family told me, "You don't want to see him like this." The guy had tubes feeding him, pumping oxygen, and his hair was gray; he died his hair Italian black, but I didn't know it until then.

    So I watched television with my brother in the waiting room, while every other family member said their goodbyes. It's still a regret of mine. I don't think about it often anymore, but if I could turn back time, that's something I'd definitely change.
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