What Do I Say?
My friend’s friend is dying. She is in hospice care and has only days to live. Maybe a week or two at best. My friend called me for advice. Her question was, “What do I say to my dying friend?” My answer was this:
“Tell your friend you love her. Tell her that she matters. Talk about the good times you have shared as friends. Don’t be afraid to laugh. Humor has a way of easing the pain. Give her permission to go when she is ready and let her know that you will be okay without her. She wants you to be. And, most importantly, be yourself.” We talked for a bit longer and then I asked my friend, “What do you want me to say to you when you are on your deathbed?” It’s a serious question and I meant it. And guess what? She told me. She told me what she wanted me to say to her in her final hours. We laughed and shed a tear or two. I will honor her wishes and I am glad that I know. I now know what she wants to hear from me. I am relieved and I think she feels better too.
Ask The Question
Here is what I learned from this conversation with my friend. I learned that it is important to ask the question. So I am going to. I am going to ask “my people”, those near and dear to me, what they want me to say to them in their final hours. The way I figure it, now is the time to have that talk. Now. While we are of sound mind and sensibility. I am going to have them write it down for me and I will promise to keep their desires tucked away in a safe place until they are needed. I will have them revisit what they wrote once a year to make sure it still stands. I will do the same for them. And then when the time comes everyone will be ready. You might want to consider doing the same with your loved ones. Ask the question.