What not to say to a dying woman

I’m going to be straight with you: You are going to die. I am going to die. We will be remembered by the legacy we leave behind and reused  by this earth as fuel to feed the powerful engine that is the cycle of life on this planet. Does this scare you? I know it frightens many to be unable to stop our mortality. We’ve invented age-defying makeup,  life support, and even an afterlife to keep us from confronting that loss of control and lack of an endless future.

But what do you say when someone is staring death in the face and not wanting to go? What do you say to a wife and mother who has just been diagnosed with cancer?

Today, for the first time in my memory, I had the chance to encourage and console someone in pain without resorting to superstitious belief or uncomfortable, scripted emptiness. In other words, I didn’t say, “I’ll pray for you,” “Miracles happen,” or “God’s will be done.” So what

When my dad was sick–and then again when he died–nobody knew what to say. Suffering was too heavy, too uncomfortable for others to dwell on.

It’s not about what you say, it’s what you do that will make the most impact.
“Two hands working can do more than a thousand clasped in prayer” (Unknown)

I received a trackback ping from this post, and I couldn’t help but read. Let me extend my heartfelt concern and hope for your family’s situation and struggle right now. My father had breast cancer, and–I can’t water it down–it was awful. But nothing so far in my life has drawn me closer to my family as a unit than that difficult time. I have never felt so much support and kinship with my fellow man than when suffering was happening in our lives.

There is so much love in the world, and so much hope to be found right here in humanity. Medicine, treatments… they are amazing tools we could never have hoped for if we as a people did not love one another. So I hope you see a lot of that care and support all around you as you go forward in this together.

All my best wishes,