Thinking about Life and Death

I rarely write posts anymore, but I read an article yesterday in the New Yorker, and it stopped me in my tracks. This piece – written by a wonderful author that passed away in July – talks through her process of answering questions from friends as she was facing her terminal cancer.

It made me stop and think about our care for Hannah, and how we are all in that question of life and death.

I think a lot about the place where Greg and I were 6 years ago right now, when we had to make choices for Hannah’s care, and knew that while we could extend her life, we couldn’t stop her disease from progressing. We had to go to that quiet place, and come to terms with how we could best support her – and without her being able to tell us, make decisions for her that we knew would be life-limiting, but would maximize her quality of life.

The people in our lives often fell into one of two camps: those that avoided us because it was just too painful, and those that leaned in and weren’t afraid to ask the questions they were curious about for how we were making decisions for Hannah (I’m so grateful so many of you were in this second camp). We were honest and open about sharing – how our hope changed from cure to comfort; how our hearts broke thinking of her end of life, but how we also owed her the opportunity to have the best experience possible with the time that she had, and with a graceful transition and passing. That dance of cure and comfort is a hard one, isn’t it? I think in so many ways it must parallel what our loved ones with terminal conditions are facing. I’m so glad that we all have people in our lives who so deeply love us, and who will be there through the cure and comfort dance, too. I hope that we can be part of that support for all of our friends and family should you need us (we are leaning in and are here for you).

I find This article in the New Yorker is so connected to how we thought about Hannah, and how I think about my own mortality. It may be interesting for you and those in your inner circle.

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