The Counterpoint

September 29, 2004

What's that called?; On death

First, some insight into the general brilliance of politicians.
Kerry calls Lambeau Field "Lambert Field"
Hey, Norm Coleman: what lake is Duluth on, again?

Second, I want to post something that I wrote a couple of days ago on the subject of my uncle. Some of you already know that he was diagnosed with brain cancer not long ago, and I wrote this as a way of trying to figure out what I am feeling. Enjoy.

On the passing of family

Have you ever had to watch somebody die?

Over the course of the next few weeks (if we are lucky), this is something I am going to live through for the first time. I was born between generations, I guess, in that three of my four grandparents were dead before I was even born but my uncles and aunts were too young for it to be a legitimate concern. That essentially eliminates all possible deaths that a child would have to go through. I have had two great uncles die. I knew both of them by name only.

A couple of weeks ago my uncle was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Doctors thought it was discovered quickly enough, so when I went to visit him for the first (and so far, only) time, they believed that it would be isolated and removed. They were partly right. It was indeed isolated and removed, but the form of cancer was an odd one, and they said that it would soon regenerate. They promised to try all possible methods to destroy it, but their outlook was not promising.

Treatment and therapy began. There were modest improvements, and there was briefly a glimmer of hope. But we would have no such luck, and my aunt and cousins recently made the call. Treatment? Discontinued. Therapy? Finished. Hope? Lost.

He has been transferred to hospice, where they predict a stay of around 2-4 weeks.

To be honest, I never imagined this beating him. He was always a tough SOB, and I can't even recall seeing him sick or downtrodden prior to his stroke a couple of years ago. Even afterwards, he was always in good spirits, including when I last went to visit him.

Yet, now I have the task of preparing to say my first real goodbye. We're going to see him again Tuesday Night (Sept 28). I am not even sure what to think or what to expect, which has me more nervous than anything. I am only now beginning to grasp the fact that tomorrow may be the final time I see him alive. What will I say when I see him? Will I be able to say anything at all? I can't help but anticipate a feeling of discomfort in the room, though I am told to expect a night of joke-telling (which may perhaps add to the discomfort?). I am not sure about what to expect, at this point. The only thing I know is that I now feel more for those who have gone through this process before.


Post a Comment

<< Home