We had an amazing response to today’s post on Tracy Clark-Flory’s heart-wrenching account of her mother’s last Christmas with her father. The story asked the horrible (yet inevitable) question: what gift do you get someone who’s dying?
Well, we received a quite a few answers. Here are some of the best:
- “The only present… and the one that will matter most is your presence.”–Kevin Casey
- “Something soothing, a massage, financial help with medications, support for the family, time, attention, help with household chores, laundry service and love, lots and lots of love.”—Leela
- “An experience.”—satinbird
- “A fruit tree. Something like a fig tree that starts out fairly small and in a pot. You can tend it together, it can go to the hospital with you and sit in their room, and one day, you can plant it in your garden so you never forget.”—scoutsiren
- “A video or photo-collage, a letter to their legacy, artwork of relatives.”—Ruth Tamari
- “Time, something baked, depending on the person a gift that’s appropriate. maybe a cd of favorite artist?”—25th Century Girl
And here’s lunachick on her own experience…
When my grandpa was dying of cancer a few years ago and we spent our last holiday season together… well, all of what the author talks about is so universally true. I figured the most I could give was my time and positive attitude. Also my services, like shoveling the snow from his walkway and keeping food in his fridge and scotch on his counter. I’d always spent a lot of time with him and, as he aged, did more and more for him even before the cancer. I never minded any of it. But as he became more and more ill, I knew favors from family were actually vital.
As for purchased gifts, all you want for a dying loved one is for them to be as comfortable as possible. His circulation became poor and his hands and feet were always cold. I came across battery operated, heated mittens and boot-like slippers and he rarely took those off. I know that wasn’t the point of the story, but there are some gifts that can make sick people just a bit more comfortable which, no doubt, lets them feel they’re loved.
These were great. Really. Join the conversation and leave your own suggestions and/or experiences below.