When I was around 11 years old it started the first time. It seemed like at the time, my family was dying off at an extremely rapid rate. By the time all was said and done around 3 or so years later, I was on a first name basis with a number of people at the couple of funeral parlors my family seemed to always use.
Then almost as quickly as it started, it all stopped. I guess I just ran out of old relatives. Although the frequent trips to the funeral palor have not started yet, it seems as though it is right around the corner.
Why would I think such a thing? Well, let me just say the signs are all there. Every phone conversation I have with a relative seems to include one of the following words or phrases. Phrases that if I don’t hear again in my life, I would be very happy. Some of these are not necessarily proof that the end is near with someone middle aged or younger, in that case there is of course still room for hope of recovery, but with the aging crowd, it becomes more dire.
The most recent is now my uncle (my mother’s brother in law). My mother called to give me an update on his condition, because well, to be honest he hasn’t been doing all that great for a number of years, although the doctors have never been able to pinpoint exactly why. So when she said “he’s not doing very well,” I didn’t exactly blink, because like I said, it has been a while since he has actually been “well.” But then she hit me with 2 of those dreaded phrases. Back to Back no less. He is in a medically induced coma, and the next 48 hours are critical. I of course hope he can manage to recover, but am more preparing for the worst.
So what are the other phrases that I could do without?
Broken Hip (why is it always the hip?)
moved to ICU
“Now don’t get upset …” (anything that starts with that is guaranteed to be upsetting)
nothing they can do
try to make him(her) as comfortable as possible
No matter how good a day you are having. The utterance of one of these phases is guaranteed to kill your mood.