It Would Be Rude.

Pause whatever you’re doing, and ask the person nearest you what they’re thinking about (call someone if you have to). Write a post based on it.

The nearest person to me, right now, is my next-door neighbour who is in the final stages of lung cancer. It would be unthinkable to phone him or message him and ask him what he’s thinking right now.

Perhaps his wife is closer to me at this moment; I can’t imagine how she feels or what she is going through. He’s so upbeat about it, posting jokes on Facebook and putting on a good front but I’ll bet she lives with someone else.


Many times I’ve looked toward the house and wondered what they are thinking. One night at dusk the sky was a soft orange turning to blue with a single, bright star. It was so beautiful but I felt a stab in my heart to wonder what it would be like to know you’re not going to see that anymore. Its got to be so hard; so sad and scary.

All these people coming to the beach and having fun for the long weekend. Cars driving back and forth in front of his house, filled with healthy, happy people making plans for the future. Being near the border, a lot of Michiganians come here so it’s Canada Day and the Fourth of July. How would it feel to know it was your last one?  Everything is ‘your last time’?

I went to his profile to retrieve this joke he posted and saw all the Canada Day and July 4th jokes and loads of people wishing him well.

No, I can’t imagine what he is thinking and I’m not going to ask.



In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “S/he Said.”

2 thoughts on “It Would Be Rude.

  1. You would know your friend better than would I, but sometimes people who are on their way out want people to ask rather than be avoided. I would ask something, perhaps not of that very moment, but a day in his childhood when the future stood before him rather than behind. Just a thought.

  2. It sounds to me like he is choosing to be as happy as possible for as long as possible, but what you are recognizing is the struggle he may be going through to do so. People are as unique in their deaths as in their lives. It’s hard to give any one piece of advice that is going to work for everyone. You know your neighbor best and probably know deep down what he might most need from you–to be left alone or to be treated like normal for as long as possible. A thoughtful essay.

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