Our uncles were offered morphine on the same day. Both of them were completely infested and filled with cancer. Two very different stories.
My uncle declined morphine. The general consensus is that he wanted to feel the pain as retribution for all the pain he had caused his family. He never said it, but my dad could feel it. It was a short painful trip to death. He died a few days after the offer and donated his body to science. His family all over the country was united in mourning – ignoring the bad and remembering the best.
My love’s uncle accepted the morphine. And so the long journey of waiting began. He did the best he could to make the most out of his circumstance; fulfilling food cravings, telling stories, and facing his emotions, as well as his fear. His family fell apart. He died almost 2 months later and the memorial is this weekend.
Although both men chose to act differently, they were both incredibly courageous. They faced death head on. They relived moments and stood up to their regrets. And now, they are no longer suffering.
It’s interesting that for the man we were disappointed in but had forgiven, we willingly united together as a family. We supported each other from across the country. More messages from my cousins fled my inbox than ever before. But for the man we loved, we fell apart, exposing the worst of ourselves – trashing the house or attacking our siblings. We assume that we have prepared for loss because we knew it was coming but sometimes, it knocks you on your ass and you’re left confused. Unable to cope or express yourself.
The takeaway is that we need to be there for our family. As much as we prepare ourselves for the worst and as much as we think we can face everything on our own, we have to have someone to lean on. If you are reading this, reach out to someone in your family. Tell them three things: that you love them, that you’re proud of them, and that you are always there for them. We should never be alone.
*This is by all means a generalization. There are always outliers.