I’m back from another weekend visit to sickbay in Blawenburg, where my poor dad continues to struggle with his declining health and the impending end of his long life.
Nat Hartshorne is the last remaining brother, and many people I know have told me they are not ready to accept that he is actually dying soon.
It’s very hard to separate the time between actual dying and being in hospice, where everything you think about and do leads and relates to the final resolution.
I remember well when my dear friend Steve Szkotak was in hospice in May 2016, and I published what I considered to be a tribute to him. He wasn’t dead, but he was in bed, drugged up and everyone around him was counting the days, they knew it was imminent.
So I published a blog, trying to navigate that fine line between already passed on, and still alive. An acquaintance and former colleague of Steve’s called me out, first by text message then by angry email.
“How can you be publishing this, he isn’t dead yet!” he said.
He was angry but I explained that I had written the post as a tribute, not an obit…and that his family sincerely appreciated what I had written. He passed away a few days after the post came out.
I don’t regret at all what I published, and only hope that his wife Mandy was able to share what I wrote with him on his deathbed.
My cousin Steve said he too, wasn’t ready to accept that Nat is passing away. He hasn’t been able to muster up what he wanted to say on his blog as a tribute. But I encouraged him, and other close friends of Nat’s, to share what they feel NOW and not wait until it’s all over.
Why not provide Nat with solace and share what you love about him right now?