when my sister was dying...i mean, truly dying...and the only appointments she took were from people who gave her a bath or medicine that wouldn't touch her pain plus those who wanted to give their goodbyes, we still giggled.
it was kind of funny the way they'd panic and fill the air with their own maladies. me you same same, do you know?
talks of summer colds and lumps that turned out to be nothing, thank god, and battles with a jackass of a love became conversation starters and enders when all lin probably wanted to talk about was manicures. or dinner plans. or her size four levis that she would have died to fit into once upon a time. but now that she was dying, they were too big. or something other than how we're all suffering.
that was a given, in her mind.
but, still, she'd coo and empathize and make everyone around her feel less pain. while she was suffering silently with her own. couldn't talk about that, though, could we?
all day i've complained about my root canal. it's the pain plus the fear plus the pissed-off feelings i have because i didn't cause this. he did.
but on my way home, armed with prescriptions for antibiotics and vicodin and a few cadbury eggs to be taken as needed, i saw a mini parade of wheelchairs. little kids being pushed in the sunshine. their heads to one side, their hands trying to stretch to touch the sky...just enjoying the moment. joy in all that pain.
if lin was next to me right now, she'd coo and tell me how sad she was feeling for me. root canals are the worst! she'd say. and i would laugh and ask as bad as cancer? and she'd laugh and probably swear and say even worse!
and we'd both know it wasn't true, but it was a much better thing to say than good-bye.
here and here.