- What is happening? (It can take a while to accept the new reality of a death or a serious diagnosis.)
- Why did this happen to me? (I realized I needed to focus on moving forward.)
- Why did God allow this to happen? (I don’t know. Any God small enough for me to understand completely is too small to be helpful.)
- Why do bad things happen? (A better question is why do good things happen.)
PATIENT SUPPORT • 04/07/2017
How to Handle the Question, "Will I Die?"
We tend to associate grief with dying. However, there are many levels of loss. Any life changing experience can lead to grief. My diagnosis with stage III rectal cancer came as a shock. After all, I was only 43 with two young daughters. I wasn’t ready to die. I didn’t know what to do. I had so many questions. Early on my biggest question was my own mortality. Would I die? (Spoiler alert: No.) Many callers to our free helpline (877 422 2030) want to know if they will live. Facing death is a big part of a cancer diagnosis. Facing the reality of death is a big grieving moment. For many people, including me, it takes your faith and makes it more concrete. I had the textbook answer to the age-old question “what happens to me when I die?” Now I had to accept it. Certainly everyone dealing with death should find a satisfactory answer to that question. We all feel more comfortable knowing the final destination of any journey. No matter if it’s Heaven, Paradise, Nirvana or Atlanta, we all like to know where we are going and how we get there. I tried to be prepared. I wrote out a funeral service and asked a friend to lead it. I wrote letters to my daughters. I got a will. Being ready honestly helped. That summer I worked through several questions: