Good grief: Yes, there is a way to make dying easier all round

Ideas

Good grief: Yes, there is a way to make dying easier all round

Pushing away loved ones is hard, but for the terminally ill it is worse to have to manage the grief of others

Margarette Driscoll

Last New Year’s Eve, Steve Hurst went to pick up some tests results, expecting good news. He was diabetic but had his blood sugar so well under control that after a few checks and a scan, he would be signed off. That scan found something truly shocking: a late-stage, inoperable liver cancer.

“The bottom fell out of our world,” says Sarah, Steve’s wife. “We had already made plans with friends, so we thought: ‘Let’s bury this, take the children out and give them one last New Year’s Eve party, all of us together.’ Then we got up on New Year’s Day to a whole new reality.”

Steve, 51, died at the beginning of May. Sarah and her children, Nathaniel, 11, Abigail, nine, and five-year-old Benjamin, were fortunate in having family, friends and neighbours who cared and wanted to support them – but, though she hesitates to say it, that care sometimes felt overwhelming, even intrusive...

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