It seems of late I have been visiting the stats page of the blog less and less. What is that page? Well here on the blog it is a separate page I can go to that shows me all about the hits I have had both in the current and previous day. It shows me the number of hits, whether hit originated at another website (blog) or originated from people typing certain words into a search engine and if so what those particular words were, that lead someone to my blog.
Yesterday, I saw that someone had typed the words: “Should I visit my dying friend?” That is all I can tell is that someone, somewhere typed those words into their computer on a search engine.
Those words strike close to my heart, and speak to one of the reasons I originally started this blog. Now, just to remind everyone. I am not a doctor, nor a councellor or a man of the clergy. I am just me, a guy sitting at this computer sharing his thoughts on issues. My only qualifications to speak abouth death and dying is I know my own days are indeed numbered.
Back to the question. Should I visit a dying friend? My response to that would be in the form of another question. Why would you not visit a dying friend? I would in fact strongly encourage you to visit that friend, it very well may be a helpful, loving, growing experience for you both.
Nothing in life is quite that simple and there is a big “BUT” with that.
First, I would suggest contacting a close family member to see if your friend is physically and emotionally up to a visit. Reality is this may even change from day to day, depending on your friends condition. There are just a whole variety of issues here. Check with the close relative first. Speaking only for myself I can say, most days but definitely not all days do I really enjoy visitors.
When you do visit be mindful of the patients physical limitations. For me, I run out of breathe more quickly than most and tire faster. My physical activity level is greatly reduced so don’t invite me to go hiking in the mountains with you. I have become more the sit and talk kind of guy.
How could your visit potentially help your friend? Here I could get into hundreds of emotional issues and ways and I am sure there are more than that. For this post I want to keep it simple and straight to the point. Now I don’t care how strong emotionally or spiritually your friend may be.I think it would be a rare person indeed that would not find this time “disturbing or stressful”. Maybe, I am over simplifying it buat the very least t a visit from a friend could be a welcome distraction from the thoughts running through your head.
You as the friend may find the thought of visiting a dying person” to be troubling or scary. I can understand that. It can be upsetting, just the thought of a dear one passing, of not seeing them again. There can be the big question filling your mind with doubt and even fear, “What do I say to a dying person”? It can also be disturbing as it reminds us of our own mortality.
Now, if you are upset at the thought of loosing a friend of not being able to see them. Why would you even think of not taking advantage of what possibly may be the last time you can indeed see this person.
What do you say to a dying person? This is your friend, what did you talk about before? Just because a doctor has labeled your friend as dying, doesn’t change who they are, what their likes and interests are. All of this I would imagine can vary so much from person to person. For me I like reminising talking about the good times in the past. Personally, I don’t even really want to talk about all this dying stuff. Maybe, I do enough of that here on the blog. I would just like the chance to say I love you, give you a big hug and say see you later.