Day 45: February 14, 2017

My step-father is very ill. It is taking quite a bit of my free time and weighing on my greatly. He is a good man and was a good parent to me.

Watching someone in the end stage of life, suffering, is the worst part of living. My cousin and I were trying to talk to him, but he has a large oxygen mask over face. We got him to use an iPad instead, slowly working through each letter, partly picking at letters like with an Ouija board, and partly guessing at what he was trying to spell. We finally got it: “I’ve been through hell.”

It is heartbreaking. I don’t know if any of us know how to deal with death or can offer much understanding at what the person who is dying must be going through. It is not fair; life is not fair. We go through our lives and participate in the illusion because we must, otherwise, there is no point. But in the end, we must face the reality of our existence; and it is horrifying.

My step-father was a strong man, a farmer, a wood craftsman. Now his body has withered and he is in a constant struggle to breathe, to move, to live. I can’t stand the idea that he is ever alone in that hospital bed, or, even worse, that he could pass on with no one at his side. I try to focus on other things in my life, but struggle.

Obviously, I am not doing any writing or editing. I am not even processing much right now. I’ll do that later, filter it all through words and stories. Much of what we write is about love or death, and this is why: they are the only absolute things we know about our existence. They are the things we feel deeply and have any understanding about at all.

NO WRITING UPDATE

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