Pop's Letter- End of Life Inspiration

Shortly after he was diagnosed with cancer this letter was written to family by Truette Wayne Frank (March 6, 1919 to July 27, 1998). I have asked permission from his family to share it on this blog because what this man had in his graceful approach to dying is an example for all of us.

Everybody dies. Truetts’s letter shows us an inspiring and meaningful way
to approach end of life.

Hi Everyone,
I just wanted to let you know how completely happy and at peace...with myself and everybody else (I am). For years my most constant wish and prayer has been that I would die before I got to where I was a burden and a worry to you kids.

When I found out I had cancer, my first thought was that this is not to be, so learn to cope with it. After a few days I realized how much better my prayers had been answered. I have the time, who knows how long, to get to really know you kids and feel a closeness I would never have known otherwise. It is worth all the pain I have had to achieve this as far as you kids are concerned. You are big guys now and hopefully it will be worth it to you to have this very close time together.

My prayers were really very selfish and shallow anyway. I dreaded your seeing (me) in a less than dignified state; like you wouldn't love me if I were not a pleasant sight to see.

So if anyone is feeling bad about poor old dad who is just sitting around the house waiting to die, forget it. I truly have never been happier and (am) at peace as every moment of each day shows another facet of this procedure called dying.

Friends from long past have been renewing our friendship and people at church, whose faces I know but no names, are overwhelming in their sincere offers to help. All I have to do is learn to accept. I have very seldom been in this position before.

So again, I am happy and at peace and ready to get this show on the road.

All the love I didn’t know I had. POP

This is such a beautiful example of approaching end of life. Truette has obviously put a lot of thought and love into his letter to his family. He has brought all the fears and concerns out into the open to be shared and addressed rather than playing the game of ‘nobody talk about this and maybe it won’t happen.’

He has given his family the opportunity of making the most of the present. I can actually use the word “present” here in both it’s meanings--the here and now and as a gift. And thank you to Truett’s family for sharing this gift with us all.

Something More about Pop's Letter - End of Life Inspiration...

A TIME TO LIVE Living With, A Life Threatening Illness, is the book I wrote for my parents when they were diagnosed with cancer, to help them to make the most of their time with us. Would you or know someone benefit from this book?

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