What Do You Say To Someone Who Is Dying?

Posted on September 15th, 2015 by John OKeeffe

This is so tough. Sometimes it feels like there are no right words to say. Sometimes the simplest words mean the most. Here is a letter sent from a friend of mine, to his Uncle who was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer.

It was great to talk to you today, Uncle Joe. You are a seriously cool person who loved really cool cars! Today when I was driving right before I called to talk to you I saw a 68 Black Firebird driving on Fairview in Boise a rare sight of this car in such great condition. It looked like it was ready to line up out at Firebird Raceway for the quarter mile. Big fat treadless rear tires like a dragster, black paint, very well taken care of, you could tell. It reminded me of you and your son Joe. How for a while he had that Firebird at your house, it was kind of like a project that never quite seemed to come together for whatever reason.

Anyways, I dont know what to say Uncle Joe, except that I respect you greatly, you have lived your life well, you have always had a zeal for living, a heart like a teenager. I will never forget you picking me up in your little sports car (MG??) and taking me back to your school to finish teaching for the day. Im sorry I was so shy, it was the way I was then, still am, but now am able to curb it more. Thanks for taking me to Multnomah Dog Tracks, and thanks for putting me in that summer bible camp in Salem. And thanks for taking me to Disneyland, Sea World, Universal Studios, etc. Thanks for being friends with my mom! Thanks for having such great kids. Thanks for letting me come and visit you in Boring, and letting me go swimming and I truly hope I didnt bother you too much. Thanks for taking me to the Organ Grinder Pizza House and letting me order salad. Im sorry I didnt always eat much in those days, but thanks for indulging me.