In 1966, I was working in Washington, D.C. when I got the news that my dad was diagnosed with prostate cancer, age fifty-seven. I called his doctor in Ohio. He emphatically said: “He’s got about five years IF he follows directions.”
Not once during those five long years did we ever ask:
- Had the doctor counseled him?
- What was he worried about?
- How could we help him?
- How did he feel about dying?
- Was there anything he wanted to say to us before he died?
- What kind of funeral did he want?
- How would we cope when he was gone?