I have three dying friends and all three are males that I have known for what seems like forever. Yes, I've talked to all three of them and tried to bolster them up but it's so hard to know how to say the right thing. Saying "You will get better" is a lie and yet it is what most people think of to say right off the bat.
These three men are in horrific pain. One has an over abundance of faith and is willing to meet God when He calls. I think of his strength and wonder how he can be that strong facing death and yet he is. And of the three, he is the youngest and the one who has always had a kind word for everyone. His body is riddled with cancer yet up until several days ago was still professing his faith and might.
The other two males are fighting a battle with leukemia and each are facing its last stage. One of these two is going the extra mile by having a bone marrow transplant and he is hopeful despite it all.
What have I said to all three of them? I have said that I am despondent about their illnesses and that not only do I admire them but love them--for I do love each of the three as they have been dear and longtime friends. And why not be honest and say that you love a person who is dying if you do? It might be your last time to utter those three words: I love you.
My best friend since the age of three died seven years ago of colon cancer: She was living in a city about two and a half hours away from me. I talked to her on the phone about a week before she died: Tears were streaming down my face as I heard her try to speak; told her it didn't matter if she couldn't talk. And I told her "I love you." Those were my last words to her ever.
I still grieve over her and grieve over these three male friends of mine who are facing death right in the face. I can only pray that God gives them strength on their journey and that they know that they are loved for isn't that what life is all about--to be loved?
I'm sure that you the reader have faced dear and close friends that have died or are dying and it's the hardest thing on a friend's part to know what to say or do. The fear of saying or doing the wrong thing is heavy on a heart for I know that all too well from the past.
Say "I love you." If it's from your heart, the dying person will know the words ring true. And pray for the person or persons to not suffer immensely. After all, it's not in our hands but in God's hands and there is nothing we can do but then and again, prayer can be a powerful thing that has worked miracles.
I grieve over my three dying friends, have told them each that I loved them and am praying for them. The pain I feel is immense. There are times that I scream out each of their names aloud. To lose them will make a huge hole in my heart yet my heart is so much better for having known these wonderful men for they are a part of me. How could dear friends not be?
Grief is a huge part of life whether we like it or not and all us have to face it with it sometimes being too much.
I can only hope that you tell your friend or friends that you love them for now is now. None of us know our futures and life can be snuffed out in an instant. And as for me, I remember hearing a saying "There go I except for the grace of God." I grieve my three dying male friends and although their illnesses are known to me, when I lose them it will be an incredulous shock all over again.
But I do love them and they matter. All friends matter. Tell them.
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