Wednesday, August 22, 2012
I finally have to face up to the fact that my bridge partner and friend, Dorothy will never again sit across from me at the bridge table :((( I just learned today they moved her into palliative care at St. Pauls hospital. Apparently, the nursing home was unable to control her pain any longer :((( Her cancer was inoperable :((
This is the third person I have met through bridge that will have died from cancer. Unbelievably, Dorothy's best friend, and also a partner to me, as well as a great inspiration to me, Angela, died from breast cancer about four years ago :(( Angela was amazing. When she was given her diagnosis, the Dr.'s said she would only have three months to live, her cancer was that virulent. Incredibly, she fought tooth and nail, trying every procedure and treatment out there and lived ten years past that prognosis. Daily, she gave me encouragement in dealing with sickness, saying we both got the short end of the stick health wise, but unfortunately, hers was fatal :(( She showed amazing courage and through all her trials had a smile a mile wide and was the most pleasant person around. I still really miss her ray of sunshine she brought to the club. Days before she died, she came to the club, one last time, too weak to stand, pushed in a chair. She wanted to say goodbye to everyone. Just brought tears to my eyes. These three women I have met were clean living Moms and Grandmothers bringing joy to the people around them. It makes me so frustrated that people who take care of themselves and live a virtuous life get struck down while people who abuse their bodies with smoking, drinking and poor eating live to a ripe old age. Its so unfair!!
I sometimes think maybe I would have been better off remaining a recluse. It was a huge stretch for me to go out in public and join this club on my own with no support. Its given me a lot and made me grow as a person, but it is also making me have to deal with people I care for dying :(( I never visited Angela in palliative care, as I really had no idea what to say or do being so socially inept and inexperienced. Really, what do you say to someone who is dying without seeming insensitive or stupid??? I am good at putting my foot in my mouth and saying the wrong thing. But I really want to say goodbye and somehow tell my friend how much I appreciated knowing them and for their friendship. I really need to make the effort to go on my own to see her. As much as I appreciated going with Cathy to visit her, Cathy and another lady there were constant chatterboxes, filling the air with words while poor Dorothy never had a chance to say anything. I am the quiet type and rather let Dorothy say what is ever on her mind and just be supportive by being there. When we went to leave, I held her hand and she gripped mine firmly. I felt she appreciated me coming, but had no time to say anything.
If any of you had to deal a friend dying and what did you do or say when it was near the end, I could use any advice that you can give me.