Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Would you want to know?

Spoke to my mum and dad last night and heard some shocking news about one of dads old work mates. He's a good friend of my parents and I've known him since I was a little girl, but I've only seen him a few times in my life and I don't know him very well. Last time I saw him was a few weeks ago when he dropped off a water bed to me and hubby (his Mother died and he was getting rid of all her stuff.)

But last night my parents told me that not long after that day he found out that he has a large cancerous tumour on his kidney and has been told that he only has 4 months to live!

He's a young guy (in his 40's) I always saw him as quite fit and full of life, he has a wife and a young son. It's really scary to realise this kind of thing can happen to people like that. I always looked at cancer deaths as something that happen to much older people after a long battle of trying to beat it! When I think of young people dying I imagine it being an unfortunate freak accident that causes death at a young age! (such as car accidents etc.)

I know that's rubbish because of course even children suffer and die of cancer every day, but it is just so hard to get my head around that people can die so young from it! Especially those that are healthy for most of their lives. And of course I have actually never personally known or lost anyone to cancer, until now, which makes it even harder for me to understand it!

It's amazing the effect someones death can have on you that you have actually been face to face with. Sure it is devastating when you hear these things on the news about people dying that you don't even know. But it makes it all the more real when you actually know the person. I don't know him very well, but while growing up I have been informed every now and then on what has been going on in his life, in passing conversations. I know his name, I know of his wife, I know they have a beautiful young son who has had many operations and now has a prosthetic leg. I know enough about him to be extremely effected by this news.

It's funny I always joke about "I thought those things only happen in the movies" Much like Hubby... he is a surfer and since there is no surf in my hometown I had never met a surfer in my life. So I had joked about this to him when I met him because he was the first surfer I had ever met and the whole thing was new and exciting to me. Even though there are thousands of surfers in the world, I didn't know any better about the whole lifestyle until he showed me.

I know that's no where near the same as this, but my point is that once you actually hear about something like this about someone you know, or meet someone that is experiencing something like this, it makes it a reality, and not just something you heard about on the news.

I think it's easier to just see these kinds of situations as the kind of thing that you hear about on the radio and on the news. You stop and be saddened for a moment and then get on with the rest of your day. But when it happens to someone you know, it's a bit like a kick in the face really. (Am I making sense?) I kind of feel like if this can happen to someone I know... than this can happen to anyone, my friends, my family, my husband, even me.

(I'm always kidding myself like that!)

I don't know, I guess it's just easier to hear about these things happening to a complete stranger than someone you know of. And I know that when he does die and even before, I will hear of the suffering that his wife and son will be experiencing because the contacts are there, which will make it even more real to me.

The biggest thing that is playing on my mind right now is that I can't even begin to imagine what it would feel like knowing that you only have 4 months to live? To be honest I've been thinking about this since Friday even before I knew of this, because I watched the movie 'Bucket list' (beautiful movie) and it is a similar story.

It would have to be one of those things where you can only know if it actually happened to you. I don't think anyone could be prepared for something like that.

I certainly don't think I would want to know when I was going to die, I believe that it could have a negative effect on the rest of my precious days. Surely it would take a long time just to come to terms with news like that, but time is very crucial at the same time.

But then again, could it be a good opportunity to do all the things you really want to do and give you the proper chance to say your goodbyes before you die? Could it be a good thing to have some time for your family to come to terms with the death when it does come, so it wont hurt as much when it happens?

I don't know... and even though I'm not in this situation myself... it's really messing with my head!

Whats your view?

Would you want to know when you are going to die?


15 GiGGLeS:

Joe said...

Absolutely. While I'm certain there would be a period of depression and anxiety, it would at least force me to stop wasting time on the mundane day-to-day tasks and spend my remaining days focused on the things that truly matter. As trite as that sounds, it seems better than dying without having that opportunity.

Magnus said...

Wow, you don't ask easy questions, do you? ;~)

I think I'd want to know... all those things you tell yourself you want to do "someday" - and suddenly it's now or never. I'd have a chance to make some good memories before the end - memories I could share with those I love the most. And I could make whatever last-minute (literally) preparations I needed to make to insure that those people are taken care of after I'm gone.

Vi's Biggest Fan!!! said...

joe - yeh I supose you're right. Thanks for your comment :-)xx

mag - yeh i agree :-) But at the same time I can imagine it would be really daunting! xx

Blergh!!! I'm freaking out as if it's happening to me! lol

Anonymous said...

That sucks about your family friend C:(
But, I would definitely want to know... Have a huge party and then take off to do all those crazy thing I've wanted to do but didn't because I was afraid to die (which isn't that many...scarily) and I would hope that one of those things would kill me. C:)

nitebyrd said...

I'm sorry to hear that about your friend. Surgery isn't an option?

Having gone through my daughter's cancer, I'm not sure I'd want to know about impending death. Her life altering diagnosis made me realize you'd better live your life for the moment and make it count!

Vi's Biggest Fan!!! said...

C:) - haha that reminds me of Bucket list, when Jack Nickilson was sky diving and didn't want to release the parachute! As always I like your thinking :-) xx

nite - wow! Having your own daughter go through must be a completely whole different feeling! *hugs* I would say that surgery is not an option as they seem to think there is nothing they can do xx

Anonymous said...

See that... I should write movies!!! C:)

Vi's Biggest Fan!!! said...

OMFG C:) check your email!!! xx

Anonymous said...


Spiky Zora Jones said...

Vbf...honey, I would want to know. I could then enjoy the last months I have left. I would be very afraid but that is accepted after a bit.
My high school friend since our freshman year had cancer and had only 7-8 months to live...she stretched it further. She was brave and strong...she had picked out everything for her burial. The music, bought the dress she would wear...everything was done.

It's harder to watch someone die especially when you love them so. I cried every time I saw her. She would smile and wipe the tears from my eyes. Spiky, come...lets go out and have some fun. She was almost 19 years old. We had lots of fun...while she could, before she was hospitalized.

On your previous post...yes honey, I saw 24 year man die in a car accident. It's hard for me to shrug it off. It's haunting.

I want to I can do like my friend Diana.

Vi's Biggest Fan!!! said...

Spiky - good lord! That's 2 awful things to go through! You witnessing a man die, and your friend dying at 19! :-( *hugs*

I never looked at it like that, being able to plan you're own funeral would be kind of cool in a way... I guess!

Still all very devastating though :-( xx

Vi said...

I don't think I would want to know, like months in advance, maybe just a few days, to say goodbye to everybody?

Urgh, you've got me feeling morbid now. I really feel bad for 'P' and his family. As I told you, I had a crush on him as a teenager. To think, I'll never see him again. (Last time I saw him was at your Dad's I think, about the time you got married)

Vi's Biggest Fan!!! said...

Aunty Vi - Yeh it's so sad I know! :-( xx

Jackie Adshead said...

You'll find that the older you get, the more you'll hear of this happening. It won't make it any easier though. But you will know how to deal with it better. As to wanting to know if you're gonna die soon, I don't think you can make that decision til you get there....

Vi's Biggest Fan!!! said...

Jackie - yeh I can agree with that :-) Thanks for your comment xx