Most people, when they have been told they can’t be fixed, associate that as a statement of failure: the enemy (death) has not been conquered. The reality is we are all going to die someday. It is the only guarantee life offers. But we each think in our mind that it is other people who die. I’m not going to die and neither is anyone close to me. Other people die! We cannot comprehend ourselves as dead. We can even talk about our not being able to be fixed but deep inside we really don’t believe it. We think, The diagnosis was a mistake or There will be a cure, or There will be a miracle. It is just too much for the mind to see ourselves as being dead.
In the months before a gradual death we really don’t believe death will happen to us or to those we love. In the days to weeks before gradual death occurs a person realizes, at last, that they are dying. Because we live inside of our bodies, there comes a point when no one has to tell us we are dying. We know it on some level though we may not share that knowledge with others. If asked we may deny it but deep, deep down we know it: we are dying. This is why the “Don’t tell Mom” theory doesn’t work, she knows. Not telling her and not talking about this huge challenge in both of your lives results in loneliness and isolation. Everyone is alone and scared. If you talk about what life is offering, even when it’s death, you may still be scared and of course very sad but no one will be alone.