Yesterday I interviewed a man who is dying with Ewing’s Cancer. It is a rare disease in which cancer cells are found in the boneor in soft tissue. The most common areas in which it occurs are the pelvis, the femur, the humerus, the ribs and clavicle.. He’d been a Marine in Iraq before being hit by the dreadful disease. He was in the care of his wife and most likely, won’t live more than a few weeks at most. Probably less. During our time together I asked him what he’d learned from his painful struggle.
He told me that he’d been deeply disappointed in how few friends had stuck with him. Most didn’t know what to do with a friend dying. He realized that some just were interested in what he could do for them. Those friends drifted away. He also told me that his painful journey had helped him come to know what a true friend was.
Reflecting after the interview, I thought how important it is to stay close to our friends or anyone struggling with pain. We do have the capacity to impart love through our caring. Could there be a better gift?