In Other Words with Dave – April 2019
You see those posts on Facebook, “So-and-so is in the hospital. Pray for them.” I’ve been seeing too many posts like that lately. Friends with failing health and friends undergoing major surgeries. I guess I’m at that certain age.
“I’m there for you, buddy,” I told him. My friend had been in the hospital since Christmas. When I’d visit, he’d always ask if I would bring him his favorite lunch special from Sumo on Broadway. I was happy to do that, my job was to simply be a friend. On my last visit, this friend knew that he was dying. And that’s what he wanted to talk about. He knew my story and my experience with the subject.
We talked about the here and now, and the forever. We talked about the phases of terminal illness and where he was in all that. We had an interesting exchange while he enjoyed his sushi, tempura, soup and salad – both of us totally in the moment.
He talked about his family. How it’s time for them to travel for one last visit. About who would take care of his dog (and about how friends snuck his dog in for a visit weeks ago). He said he was grateful for the time he had, to be able to tell people things he wanted them to know – and to say goodbye. And finally, how he hoped his passing could somehow help other people deal with their own mortality.
I didn’t get a response when I last texted him. I was hoping to make another lunch run. A close family friend notified me that he had made the conscious choice to be comfortable and was now sleeping and will not wake again. She said he seemed at peace. I believe that. I will remember him as a kind friend who really enjoyed his Sumo.