"Why?" of course, is the first and last question asked in every hospital room – asked in choked out ways, both literal and abstract. Answers come in the form of med-speak and spiritual platitudes – but the question persists. And yet, when a loved is bed-ridden and battling for his life with a forlorn look, breaking down and questioning God isn't appropriate, it's counterproductive. "Why?" became the elephant in the corner of his oncology ward for the next year, the elephant standing on the nightstand between my brother and me while I struggled to sleep.
David used blind optimism to ignore the unfair threat of death. Even when told he had a one in three chance of living, he never gave up. My mother used prayer and positive thinking to get through the darkness. My dad had an affair, and I used antidepressants, alcohol, sex and showy, destructive behavior.
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