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Life, universe and everything

To remind ourselves how lucky we are

Several times today I kept being reminded of how unreasonable, cruel and devastating a terminal illness can be.

D and I saw the latest episode from Grey’s Anatomy. The death of that little girl while her father was holding her in his arms and Izzie collapsing after chemo was so, so sad. I kept saying to myself “think happy thoughts, think happy thoughts!” so I wouldn’t cry.

While I was grocery shopping this afternoon, near the fruit aisle I overheard a conversation between a mother-daughter pair. The girl, in her 20s or 30s,a blue bandana covering her head, had the most dramatic grey-blue eyes I have ever seen. “Mom, I have three months to live. Let’s get some booze.”

I had to leave right that instant because the look on the look on the mother’s face was excruciating and even if this whole thing lasted for just 30 seconds I could feel the tears building up in my throat.

What topped it all was Jo’s post.




 Maddie  003

You see what I mean now? Don’t you consider yourself lucky to be able to read this knowing that there’s a high chance you’ll still be around for Christmas?

Why are we such infatuated and conceited creatures that only when seeing the suffering of others realize how precious life is and how truly blessed we are just to be alive?

Comments (2)

  • “But last month it became clear to the doctors, to her family and to Laura that the new lungs were failing and there was no more fixing to be done. She left the hospital to spend the time she had left at her new home, the apartment she was renting with her boyfriend, Brian. For someone who had spent so much of her life either in the hospital or under her parents care, Brian — and the apartment — had, for the last year, represented an independent life, the kind 22-year-olds are supposed to have.

    The way Laura lived her life was also the way she prepared for her death. Over the last few weeks, Laura organized her own memorial service. She decided she would be cremated and her ashes would be scattered into the ocean where she had gone as a kid. She said goodbye to more than 100 friends and relatives. Laura did just about everything but write her own obituary. And in a way, she did that too.

    About six months ago, on the very last tape that she recorded for her diary, Laura talked about all of this, what it would be like when she finally died.”

    You can listen to someone who in spite of everything lived and died mostly on their own terms here:

    RIP Laura Rothenberg.

  • I am thinking about buying her book.
    The good news is that research for a cure for CF is going rather well so there might be a treatment available soon.


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