I think what no one tells you is that once you show empathy
gain someone's trust
and basically get a good convo going, you're feeling pretty good about yourself (how far you have come!) -
then he tells you (as an aside, really) just as you push your chair back to the foot of the bed, tells you that he has only two years left to live.
a few things ran through my mind, all scrambling over each other to be heard:
what do I do?
shit, he's going to die?
WHAT DO I DO?
so I sat back down...very slowly...
When he was telling me his story, I was thinking of my grandfather. When he told me he was a fighter, I remembered how my granddad was scared to die. When he told me his plans to travel, I remembered the things my grandad never finished - his regrets.
I have a long way to go.
If his family conference was immediately after, I would've gone. But I had time to talk about it and mull it over. And I'm not his family. I'm not...okay, I'm not sure I can handle the conference - where they discuss with the family how, exactly, they intend to balance medical care with the aggressiveness of the cancer. (ie. you don't give a whack-all heavy side effect drug to gain 1 month of life. Quality of life comes into play). It's strange how we can get so emotionally invested in someone we've only just met.
When I come to terms with how I feel about death and people dying, maybe I can meet your eyes with a clear gaze. As for now, it strikes me how alien it is to be faced with imminent death in the near future. I simply cannot imagine what it feels like, and if I was told the news today, my feelings probably wouldn't know what to do with themselves either.
Phrases like: live like there's no tomorrow/ like it's your last day on earth/ like you're dying. They don't mean anything to me, because perhaps I lack the imagination to put myself in that position. I, too, am afraid to die.
So as for now, simply... live boldly. Be unabashedly yourself. Celebrate the fact that you're weird and funky and spiced up - maybe you're explosive, or caustic, or sharp, but no one is that all the time. You're also warm and buttery and sweet as cotton fluff. You're everything you can imagine yourself to be, and more besides. And that's pretty awesome.
Ed Sheeran - the a team