It’s easier to just make you a cuppa tea

I’m not comfortable dealing with old or sick people. To this day, I am still racked with guilt that I did not have it in my heart to bath my gran when she was still alive. Instead, I made tea.

So while my sister bathed my gran, even to the point of giving her a pedi, I knew that once she was done, I would sit at the kitchen table with tea and Marie Biscuits, listening to her talk for hours. It’s the least I could do…

On Saturday, my sister and I went to visit a close friend of the family who has recently been diagnosed with a brain tumour. Having “survived” lung cancer, she has now been told by her doctor to ‘get her affairs in order’ and consider moving into a frail care facility.

Not having seen her for many years, it was wonderful that as we walked through the door to her room in the hospital that she recognised us and was so happy to see us. Within a few minutes, we were chatting about work, life, reminiscing about the good old times and joking about the doctors.

As it always does, the conversation gets to those awkward silences. I was strangely nervous, uncomfortable. I had so many questions but kept quiet.

I’m just going to say what I was thinking…

How do you ask someone who’s dying how long they’ve got? Do you even bring something like that up in conversation? Do you ask such questions? And then what do you say?  Is it my place to ask?

I have an analytical mind. I like to work things out, make sense of things, plan ahead, knowing what we’re in for. But without the facts, I hate sitting around in total darkness, not knowing what to do.

So we chatted and chatted (actually, it was my sister that did most of it) and we laughed, even making jokes about her tumour. And eventually we left.

I have no idea when I will see her again or if this will be the last time that I do?

It feels like I should be doing something. But do what? And if I haven’t made an effort for so long, would it appear false?

Do I just walk away now and wait? That sounds terrible. Heartless…

I feel so helpless. It feels as if I have so many unanswered questions.

It’s so much easier to make tea.

6 thoughts on “It’s easier to just make you a cuppa tea

  1. Pingback: Sadness. Disappointment. Please can today be over? | Keeping up with the Walkers…

  2. I would also be making tea. I get really uncomfortable with body issues (bathing, feet etc). I am sure that your friend will appreciate all the time you spend with her, even if it is listening to your sister and her chat.


  3. Make time to go back and visit as much as you can. I can assure you she needs as much time and love from you as you’re able to give. I know that you are grounded in the belief of an everlasting life after death. Share this with her and pray with her and for her. She remains a wonderful person who gave you and your sister a lot of laughs especially about you know who! Luvies


  4. So true. I’m like that too. I’ll make tea, sandwiches or do just about anything other than deal with those uncomfortable moments. I guess that’s our way of showing love and that’s okay.


  5. Hi Bo
    My mom passed away with cancer at the end of last year and we never asked the doctor how long she had left, we just didn’t want to know. All you can do is be there for them, and let them know how much they mean to you and how much you appreciate them. Most important is not to shun them because it’s too painful for you to see them that way… just making the tea for your gran and listening to her, or laughing with your friend, that is all they need…
    Miss you, my friend, it’s good to read your blog
    Vicky xx


  6. Hey Bo
    Good post.
    It’s not the size or complexity of the task that you do for someone, it’s the love that it’s done with that counts, I guarantee that your gran looked forward to that cup of tea more than you will ever know.
    Think back on what your gran has done for you, and I bet it was some of the simplest smallest guestures that showed you she loved you.


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