On The Dying Of A Friend

I know why I’m morose tonight.  I talked to my oldest child’s father today, he’s dying rapidly of lung/brain cancer.  We were good friends before we had my daughter and we have remained friends throughout the years.  Probably the longest lasting friendship I have ever had.  The chemo is killing him faster than the cancer and the cancer is moving fast.  I don’t know if he will make it to the end of the school year.  She got to spend her spring break with him and he was able to give a good showing but now he hasn’t eaten anything in five days, he’s living on ensure and pure stubbornness.  My heart breaks for him and her, and selfishly for me.  As soon as school lets out for the summer we can go to Ohio and see him, help him as much as we can.  That’s what I want to do anyway, my first instinct.  Then I wonder too, is it best for her?  Should she see him bedridden and broken or should she be left with the memory of him healthy and strong?  I have no compunction about giving a bedbath or cleaning up BM, I was a nurse pre-breakdown.  But is that something she should be there for?  How better to show your love for someone than to help them through their final hours?  My work in hospice care really showed me how few people show up for that part of someone’s life and I want to be there for him.  My husband is on board, he says I should go now. She needs school though, some normalcy in her life.  So we wait and see what happens.  I’m five hundred or something miles away, I can’t even hold his damn hand while he dies. My oldest friend.  My little worries seem so insignificant now.  That deep, dark soul I was feeling now seems very shallow.

His name is Ed and he sobered me up when I had been in a drunken stupor for years, he gave me a job as a bartender so I didn’t have to dance anymore.  He kind of saved my life, I owe him a lot and I want to be there for him. But I don’t know how.  There is only a month and a half left of the school year and then I can go to him, help him the way he helped me.  I feel it’s the least I could do.


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