A Friend Who Is Dying

My friend Peter is dying. He is 56. He hasn’t felt great for the last few months, but thought he might have some low-grade bug that was dragging him down. As it turned out, he had cancer that started in his colon and has since infiltrated his liver and his lungs. The doctor has given him 6 months to live, but I talked to him today and he thinks that is overly optimistic. “I am going down fast,” he said. “I had hoped I could travel a little bit or at least enjoy going out to eat, but now I just feel too weak to make that happen.”

He told me that he is already being visited by hospice and that tomorrow they will be putting up a hospital bed in his house.

Poor Peter. He is a decent guy, a straight-to-the-point fellow who has been part of the writing group I’ve been involved in for at least 5 or 6 years. Plus, he attends my church so I know him there. Also, he volunteers at the homeless breakfast which is another thing we have in common. He has moved from acquaintance to friend over these years and his opinion on my writing is one that I’ve always felt I could trust. He is also a talented artist and I have supported that for him by attending many art shows of his.

We are indeed buddies.

So, I am sorry he is terminally ill. I will miss him. I am sad for him since he has to face this unexpected end of his life. To his credit, he is kind, focused and generous with his thoughts and feelings. He is very much in the present at this point.

I hope to see him when I return to LA. In the meantime, I will call him every few days just to check in.

For those of you who are inclined, please offer up a prayer for Peter. He could use them.

Thank you.

“People are like stained – glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.”

Elisabeth Kubler-Ross


3 thoughts on “A Friend Who Is Dying”

  1. Len, I am so sorry to hear of Peter’s illness. I don’t believe I met him in your first writer’s group. He is still “young”….which makes it all the sadder and that he is such a valuable and good human being. I pray for him and am very touched by your words. You and I both are no stranger to losing those we love. Be it family for you or birds and family for me. And it never gets easier. Worse, perhaps. Each brings back the memory of ALL that have come and gone. My elderly white budgie, Pirate, is near the end. As Kubler-Ross says…all I can do is hold him and let him snuggle into my neck. And not die alone. Thanks for reminding me of Kubler-Ross. I clicked on the link and read her quotes. Never read her books that sit on some bookshelf here. Let me know if there is anything I can do to help or visit. Hugs to you and Peter..

  2. Sorry to hear about your friend Peter. How does one live each day knowing you’ve been given a due date.

    I am not familiar with Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, but have checked out the link. She’s written inspiring quotes.

  3. How sad, but my first thought was that men often do this–put off going to the doctor until it is too late. I think my dad lived to 90 still farming and driving because he did not put it off and when necessary, did exactly what the doctor told him. How do we convince them to take care of themselves and heed warning signs that something is wrong?

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