How do you talk to a friend that is dying?

by | Apr 28, 2015 | Blog, Life Lessons | 3 comments

On Friday, I received a call from an old friend/colleague. She did not sound right, something was off.  She told me she wished she was calling for something else and then proceeded to tell me that another friend/colleague was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and was in the final months. It has taken me this long to actually compose this post.  My mind and my heart have been heavy.

I hope I get a higher than usual readership this time.  I  hope we all think a minute about this and take some time to just consider….

  • How often do you tell someone you love them?  When we were first married, Chip and I heard the old, ‘never go to bed angry’ mandate.  I have gone to bed angry many times in these past 25 years.  I cannot get that back.
  • How often have you wasted time?  Just wasted it on stupidity or doing something you really did not want to do?  You cannot get that back.
  • How would you spend your last 3-6 months if dying is what you faced? I don’t know about you but just asking that question makes my heart beat faster and tears begin to form.
  • How would you say goodbye?
  • How would you close your eyes and face the unknown and turn to the faith and beliefs you have for strength?

I  called my friend Pat and spoke to her.  She has always been a strong woman. The last time I spoke with her, she had just beaten colon cancer!  Ok God, really?  Go pick on someone else now. But no, Pat was her outward facing, strong and funny self.  We reminisced about our old days at LexisNexis, raising children, her cat getting run over on her front lawn and her husband’s super-fantastic white clam sauce.  I could hear her voice getting tired and I asked her if the pain was bad.  She told me it was and it would be worse in the end but she would be comfortable. What is that? Comfortable?  It makes me mad.  It makes me want to do something I cannot do.

After I hung up, I pictured her sitting there, in her thoughts, (as she bravely said to me), waiting. So instead, let’s Not wait. Let’s really, really try for Pat and for others that we all have known- try to be a better person.  Try to live a better life, whatever your better may be.  All of  a sudden, this boot on my foot is so very insignificant.






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  1. dolly

    Oh Karen. waaaaaa!!! that’s all I can say. how sad is that. it really does make you step back and take a look at your life thus far. time to stop whining and look at the good.. no one knows the exact time we will be gone but at least we are lucky enough not to have a tentative date looming over our heads.

  2. Amy

    I am deeply touched by your words Karen. Often it is easy to get caught up in life’s little things. Thank you for the reminder that we need to take time to appreciate those we love and the important things in life.

  3. Dawn

    You wrote the words you spoke to me this morning. It is so sad that those we love have to face the most difficult challenge and we cannot help……or so we think. A gesture, a phone call, a smile, a shoulder, or even a laugh can make someone’s day and in some cases make them rethink something they might do. A few minutes out of one’s day can make all the difference in the world to someone else. So thank you Karen for taking the time and sharing this both here and this morning.


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About Me

KarenHello and welcome.
I am often asked, “What is Pasta on the Floor?”
Pasta on the Floor is different for everyone. It is a recipe that tells a story and inspires them to try something new. For others, stories of family, joy, loss, and hope engage with them. This brings me a great deal of happiness. I do not take myself too seriously, so be forewarned the subject matter is open and truthful. In many ways, Pasta is a tale of life, and I think you will find familiarity and commonality as you scroll through these pages.

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