A friend’s perspective
My very good friend Tom passed away a couple of years ago. His passing was as painful as any experience I’ve ever had. Tom was one of those people that could keep his calm in just about any situation. In fact I now think of him when I’m troubled or can’t figure out a problem. The realization that he was going to die shook me deeply. He was truly that person I could talk to about anything.
The time I was able to spend with him at the end of his life was both agonizing, and if I can say precious. I loved the guy. The meds needed to stem his pain dulled his eyes and made his system very uncomfortable. A smile or a chuckle was everything you could hope for in the end.
There are many questions about death that Americans don’t think to ask until it’s so late in the process of dying. Most of us have been separated from that process by the hospital experience. Somehow we don’t address the facts of dying.
In my experience with Toms passing, he did have his wife with him and I know that he took comfort in that. He loved her very much. And, he also had the benefit of a person, Bridget, that understood many of the facets of a dying person, and who could offer us guidance on how to best be there and care for him at that time. I feel lucky to have been able to spend as much time as I did with him, even if it was just being there. That I could do this meant so much.
Charlie, a friend.