I was with a lady today who wanted to plan her funeral so that her family know what she wants and to take stress away from them. She has terminal cancer and will probably die within the next few weeks. When we were just about to part she said “Thank you for everything – I doubt we will see each other again.” I felt the impulse to fudge the issue and say something comforting like “Well, you never know, we may” but managed to look her in the eye and say “Yes, this is an unusual situation, and you are right, we won’t meet again. This is farewell.” I could see the relief in her eyes, as I would guess that most times the moment would be fudged to try and make it ‘better’ whereas in fact better is just honesty – to meet her where she is, after all she acknowledged it first.
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