It seems I have spent a lot of time lately writing about how to react. I am sitting at UCSF while K has her head opened up and a brain tumor removed.

While sharing a cocktail last week she thanked me for not saying “it will be all right”.

Of course not, you are scared shitless, and so are all of us that love you, but what else are people going to say?

I have said before, I don’t find fault in those that can’t find the words, but why as a society are we not better at this.

Death and illness are items that our society does not do a very good job of handling. We no longer live as family units, where the death of your elderly grandparents take place in the home. We seem to put people in the hospital and go about our daily lives while unknown nurses and caretakers see the slow destruction of their bodies.

Society will most likely never go back to having close knit groups that help teach us to realistically look at death, dying and serious illness as part of the life cycle, but we need to do better in our process of understanding, coping and relating to those in crisis.

When you encounter a person that knows they are dying or is fully aware of how sick they are or how dangerous their health situation is, be honest, express your love and concern, but it is okay to also express your fear, you are acknowledging theirs.