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The Rod Brudwick Family 2008

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Talking about death helps us live more fully today

By Marianne
Posted on

I had the conversation with my spouse.

When doctors tell you to your face that "you will die from this disease," it doesn't mean it's easy to talk about it in the home.
At the prime of life and in the midst of raising 3 teenagers, my husband died of glioblastoma (brain cancer) at the age of 48. We had one precious year from the initial diagnosis to live with the medical knowledge that death was imminent. When doctors tell you to your face that “you will die from this disease”, it doesn’t mean it’s easy to talk about it in the home. When faced with a terminal illness, you pour yourself into being the “one” who will be able to conquer it, to think “positive” when going through the surgeries, radiation, chemos and all the side effects. You focus on “life” which you value now even more than before. But as Rod kept up this side of the fight valiantly, we also knew we had to prepare for the worst.

I realize now that it was not even so much as having the “perfect conversation”, though I wish I could go back and ask him more questions, but it was more about his example that spoke volumes to us. His faith in God increased, his love for all of us was obvious, his gratitude for all he’d been given in this life exuded despite his new limitations. I believe it is vital to have conversations throughout life with those you love, especially those in your immediate family. The snippets we had before diagnosis were important as well as those after. Talking about our future, the what-ifs, and even death helps us live more fully today. It keeps life in a better perspective and reminds us how valuable our relationships are above material things.

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