Monthly Archives: June 2016

Dear Death

Dear Death

“….I need a friend.”

Good morning Death, I see you may plan to visit a woman who has been my friend for 5 years now. She called me this morning from the ICU at Tempe St Luke’s and asked me to come to her. She told me she is dying.

And I am wondering now Sir, What can I say? What can I do Yama? I give her a part of me in life, but what can I give to her in death? Should I cry with her?

My card says “It seems like we’ve been friends forever.” And now forever has come to take her. She will be free. I give her a poem which holds my soul in words- simply my opinion as I have no knowledge worth her life. I can only hold her hand and smile with fear that I may not say the right things to my friend who has said so many right things to me.

I share a little more of my time with her.

If she goes with you tomorrow, I will know that we shared love today. I felt the sun in my heart. 

Today, oh Death, we learned of education. Plato could say the right things to my friend. We listened of love and I learned that love does not come to an end, and this has helped me to stand straight at my friend’s bedside as I share that idea. To her I can say, “I hope that you will remember we share love, and it does not come to an end.”

Now I must go to her as you too may be ahead of me. When I see you Death I will not recognize you. You look different to me today than you did yesterday. I’ll try not to be afraid. If when I get to her she has gone with you, please give her my love.

                                                                                                    Respectfully Yours ,

                                                                                                    JMD 6-13-1990


The above writing was the result of a phone call I found on my answering machine late one morning after night shift at the steel-mill and early morning Philosophy class at Mesa Community College. My friend recovered from her condition. 26 years later after 20 plus years in nursing this letter to death carries much more meaning to me now than it ever did then.

In our excitement to preserve life, we have indirectly vilified death.

Working with end of life care and Hospice has led me to a place now where I hope to share the importance of having conversations with loved ones, friends and caregivers long before such a situation as above takes place.

© 2016 Caring Choices