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What do you say to someone, who knows he’s dying.
Something that won’t seem trivial, insignificant or trite.
Is it possible to say something that if for only one second,
it would make them smile, and feel good? Something that,
would transport them to another thought dimension where
they don’t have to think about their approaching demise.

Recently I learned of the passing of someone I knew.
I say “knew” because I lived above her for five years;
we talked, we laughed, and she taught me to refinish furniture.
She bore two more children, and I one in those five years.
I then moved away. And as all things with life, out of sight, out of mind.
Our children are now 30+ years old.
In August, about three months ago, I spoke to her.
I knew then that she had battled cancer, but she was in remission,
that is, until she was in remission no longer.
Yesterday, the 19th of October, I was saddened to learn of her recent passing.

Later that day, as we were walking around in the mall, I spoke with another acquaintance friend whose husband is in his last stages of battling cancer.
His wife, my friend, has been taking care of him, along with her grown children.
She is trying to keep a good front. She asked me to send him a card,
“he likes reading messages” she says to me. “He sleeps all days and has wasted to nothing”,  but “he likes hearing from friends”, people he knows or once knew.
You know, the people who you know when you were healthy, and if you run into them in the streets, you’d stop and say hello. Catch up on the children, and say “we’ll have to get together sometime”. That sometime never comes, but the sentiments are still real. So my question now is, as I think about sending Paul a card, what do I say? If it were me, what would I want to read in these messages to me? If it were you, what would you want to read?

Loly M.
October 20, 2013

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