Monday, September 04, 2017

Survival and Grief

There is no transcendent moment of growth or meaning in watching a childhood friend die of cancer. There is no learning experience that will somehow make me stronger. Only horror, helplessness, loss, and grief. I am deriving no spiritual uplift from this experience, only depression and despair. If someone wants to talk to me about post-traumatic growth, I will spray paint their car.

Others disagree with me, I'm sure of it. For religious reasons. And I will respect their beliefs. There is no point in being a skeptical asshole to a grieving family.

The most important point here is that dying patients should not have to suffer this much. I wrote about this and related issues seven years ago, as my father was dying of cancer.

Ketamine for Depression: Yay or Neigh?

Limbaugh/Palin "death panels" extend the lives of terminally ill patients

2009 Lie of the Year Redux: Palin's so-called Death Panels

Update on Ketamine in Palliative Care Settings

I had more of a voice back then. Today I feel hopeless about the state of the world and my ability to have any impact on it. But I will try to keep my happy memories alive.

I love you.

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At September 04, 2017 5:31 PM, Blogger K. said...

I'm so sorry

At September 05, 2017 9:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your intelligence and insight provide a great light in this world. Hope you feel better soon.

Jen in San Jose

At September 05, 2017 9:46 AM, Blogger Sandra K said...


At September 05, 2017 11:54 AM, Blogger Arvid Leyh said...

Beautyfully written, hard to read – all the best to you!

At September 05, 2017 12:47 PM, Blogger The Neurocritic said...

Thank you.

At September 05, 2017 5:22 PM, Blogger jonathan said...

Sorry for your loss. You have an interesting blog. I hope you feel better soon.

At September 08, 2017 10:53 AM, Anonymous chalwanna said...

warm e-hug! hope you get a real one too.

At September 11, 2017 9:04 AM, Blogger The Neurocritic said...

chalwanna -- I appreciate the e-hug.

And thank you, jonathan.

At January 18, 2018 11:48 AM, Blogger Thaler Pekar said...

I am so sorry for your pain. I just read this, as I was preoccupied this Fall, with my best friend since I was 15 dying of cancer. He was only 54. May I read what you wrote 7 years ago? My dad died, too, this Fall. You may be interested in this essay I wrote:

At September 11, 2019 9:56 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

very insightfull. I totally agree that witnessing is the right response. I've been in places , divergant ones where this was underlined. one end was a solo musician thanink his audience. (it was a small venue, you could feel the give and take tho no applause intruded the shared space. IN adult children of alcoholics, a no crosstalk zone, the same palpable presence of listeners and its affects are sometimes loud and clear, at least to a silent mind not chattering over it. And on occasion, a speaker will remark as well. soul? spirit? lets just stick with shen.


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