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Saturday, August 1, 2009

Practising what I preach

My father, Robert Stephen Butler, passed away last week at age 74 from cancer. What a strange, stressful, sad, disorienting process it is for a family to stand by helplessly while a loved one is taken swiftly and ruthlessly by cancer. Everyone wants to do something to help the situation, to help the person who is suffering, but there isn't much at all that we can do, is there?

When my father first found out that his condition was terminal and that he only had a matter of weeks to live, he immediately requested that he and I review his legal documents. He did this because he wanted to know that everything was going to go according to his wishes. For him, this wasn't so much about who was going to get what from the estate; it was making sure that his widow would be provided for, and that each member of the family with a role to play in medical or legal decisions had clear instructions. He did this for his surviving family members. In a way, his leaving things so well documented was an enormous gift to us.

So, although I was able to do very little about my father's medical journey in his final days, other than hold his hand so that he knew I was there, I was definitely able to bring him some peace of mind by updating his legal papers. I believe it eased his passing to know that there would be no disputes and no struggles after he passed.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks, Lynne, for not allowing others' follies to be repeated in your dad's case.


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