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Conversations About Cancer: Debunking the "Right" and "Wrong" Words

Monday, January 27, 2020

How do you begin — how does anyone begin — to communicate in the face of certain and impending death? Do we have to? Did my dad want to? At the time, we all struggled with what to say to him, and everyone else struggled with what to say to us. But now, eight years after his passing, I finally understand that those “right words” that we were all searching for — they simply don’t exist. In fact, there are exactly zero words in the English language (or any language) that cure cancer, solve complex mental health issues, or bring people back from the dead.