Photo by Eduard Militaru on Unsplash

Based on personal experience, here are some of the very worst things you could say to someone who is dealing with the reality of having a parent battle advanced stage cancer. So please, don’t be a jackass.

1. I understand. My dog/cat/horse/iguana/guinea pig has (insert illness here) and/or died.

As bad as this might sound, this has already happened about three times too many. I like animals just as much as the next guy. I’m even a vegetarian. But guess what? Your pet doesn’t have the same type of value as someone’s parent does, and equating the loss of your…

Photo by Machaela Parkin

“But you’re going alone?”

My mother had never been what you would call a particularly strict parent by anyone’s standard. After all, I was calling her from the other side of the Atlantic in Budapest, where she had let me go alone to start university just the month before. But I still managed to shock her when I told her about my bright idea: a solo weekend trip to the small Ukrainian mountain town of Rakhiv to celebrate my 18th birthday.

I never had a problem with being independent and self-sufficient, but the solitude was starting to get to me…

Machaela Parkin

A little chicana trying her damnedest. // Modern day hedonist. // Hunt me down: @soymachaela

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