Getting Ready to say Goodbye

When someone’s cancer progresses to a certain stage (or indeed as people begin to show certain side-effects of aging) there is a certain inevitability about their death that looms just on the edge of sight but eventually you have to tackle it straight on.

Today a friend is being moved to a hospice in order to get round the clock palliative care and end her days outside of the anonymity of a hospital ward with some kind of ‘dignity’. Her family have asked that people don’t go and visit her at the hospice in order to preserve the best image of her (though I have no concept of what her preferences are/have been). These last few weeks the decline has been rapid and painful and though perhaps we as her friends have been shocked at the speed – I for one am not surprised by this outcome.

Today I prepare to try and see her one last time, in the sure and certain knowledge that my next chance will be the funeral. I wonder about the wisdom of traipsing in, of the loneliness of knowing there are people who you will never see again as your body gives up on you. I wonder what ways there are of making it a little easier…

There are no answers only a sense of disappointment in the inadequacy of words and the fragility of life.


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