Recently, I am getting all stressed out.
One of the reasons, besides work overload, financial strain (what with the rising cost), feeling like 24 hours per day is never enough, is that I'm trying my best, on a daily basis, to cheer up a friend who is a cancer patient and is on palliative care now. There's really not much hope of getting a real cure, except to live the rest of his life as comfortably as possible.
The problem is, I need to put on a happy mood all the time, and try not to talk on sensitive issues… and yes, he is indeed, understandably, moody all the time, sensitive, in pain and misunderstanding my words for lack of concentration. Who wouldn't?
Also, I have to make sure not to dispense any unwanted advice. He has been getting all those (and tried all of them out unsuccessfully) from people in both the Western and Eastern medical profession for the past year and a half.
Sometimes, when conversation runs too deeply, I am at a lost for words. How can I help, when he tells me that he misses the food, for example? What can I do when he tells me that being forced to lie in bed most of the day is no way to live? And having to face this physical imprisonment, when he was a free-spirited guy who travelled all over the world in the course of his work?
It's the helplessness of knowing that I can't alleviate his pain and that only the finality of death can release him from all these earthly sufferings … it's the reluctance of letting go, of holding on, and yet knowing that we are just dragging the end.