Karen answers Priscilla

Comment by Priscilla on November 11, 2008 9:56 pm

Hi Karen,

I bought your book and gave it to my friend who is dying of cancer. I didnʼt read it first. Oh how I wish I did. I didnʼt want her to cry. I apologized and she told me your story had made her feel peaceful with her own past. I was shocked and took her copy to read it for myself. I can see why.

Can you recommend what I could say to my dying loved one, Catherine, who had suffered from child abuse and depression most of her life? In her final days of unsuccessful cancer treatment what can I say to help her? Sheʼs has two to three months top?

Much obliged,


Dear Priscilla,

I’m glad that giving your friend Switching Time turned out to be a nice thing to do. I can understand how you and she may have found my story interesting. I believe your intentions were in the right place. You knew Catherine suffered from past abuse and bought a book you believed would help her. I am glad that you read my story, too. This not only brought your friend peace, but you were able to understand the peace she spoke of. Finding peace in one’s final days is what we all hope for.

I know final conversations with loved ones are not an easy thing to do. If Catherine were my friend, I would be myself, sometimes talk, sometimes not, sit with her, and tell her about my day or what I’ve done. I’d read to her, tell her I love her, and sit and hold her hand. Allow her to speak about anything; she may just need to talk.

This could be the time to remind her of all wonderful things she’s done. Sharing memories might be helpful in putting her life into perspective. Say all that you want to say now, while there’s time, and enjoy your time together. This way, your loved one will know she’s not alone. Cherish every moment.

I wish you and your friend Catherine peace at this difficult time.



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