Where to live and where to die?
In what room do you live the most? Where in your house would you want to die? Some individuals choose to die in their bedroom, a quiet refuge from the world. David took a different approach and I agreed.
All homes have their special places. A room where everyone seems to automatically gather to laugh, talk, and interact. In some it is the kitchen, a central hub of activity while meals are being consumed or prepared. In others it is a family room or tv room. In our family, it is the living room.
When David is diagnosed with nasopharyngeal cancer, I am overwhelmed with sorrow and unable to sleep so I retreat to the living room. Filled with artifacts that reflect memories of our life together, this room is a place of love, excitement, and security. It is the place we gather the night of the bad news- automatically gravitating there without anyone asking or planning.
From Chapter 2
I’d like to share the final paragraphs of Chapter 2 to give readers an idea of what is behind the name of the book.
I realize the living room is a sacred space, containing moments of elation, tension, and closeness. It will now see death, and I fear what that will look like. I fear that I will not be able to care for this man I love so much. I cannot stand the thought of him suffering. I worry how I will start all over again.
Yesterday, our world forever changed, and I will never be the same. …
LIVING while Dying
Despite my fears, and despite the death that happens there, the living room is the place we chose to LIVE and make memories that will last a lifetime. It is the place we are together to let David know we love him, the place we make most of the YouTube videos, the place were Ollie first walks, the place we all say good-bye, the place we celebrate Christmas and birthdays. What an appropriate name for a special place- the LIVING room! And when you get to the end of the book- you find out about the role of a Living rooms in creating new normals!