Archive for Secrets & Lies – Page 2

A Perinatal Story

baby and momI was uncertain of what “perinatal” meant.

Though I’ve been colleagues for several years with the Angel Babies counselors at the hospice where I work, I was, well . . . ignorant.

[Read Disclaimer here.]

In my feeble defense, I’m not directly involved with the Angel Babies program. I’m also not a medical expert, and even “easy” terminology stumps me. Additionally, my wife and I don’t have children.

There were a series of unremarkable events—a phone call, a conversation, a few words on a webpage—that led me to learn “perinatal” referred to the before and after time period around the birth of a child. Here’s the sentence from the webpage that I’m sure I’d read before and had—like humans often do—overlooked the words I didn’t understand: Read More →

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

I’m Fine

I'm FineYou visit your mother and she mentions a little ache in her lower back. In her seventies, she still rises early to stretch. The brisk walk with Cosmo the dog comes next, and then a sensible breakfast for both of them. But there is that ache. She’s taking more Advil, and has less energy in the afternoons. Because of that “little” pain, not even naps seem to give her enough rest.

And you ask, since you love her, “Is everything okay? Should you see your doctor?”

“Oh, I’m fine!” she says.

Nearing your golden wedding anniversary, your husband often appears short of breath. He’s never been into exercise regimes, and has one of those metabolisms everyone hates. At seventy-two, he can put on the tuxedo worn when you celebrated 25 years of marriage. Now, while doing yard work, his breathing is occasionally labored. You notice he wakes at night more frequently for bathroom trips . . . but he (and his prostate) are getting older. However, on several occasions he didn’t immediately return to bed, but sat on the chair by the closet.

In the dark of the bedroom, you ask, “Are you okay?” Read More →

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

In Hospice, Let the Lie Die

Image from “The Killing.” Actors Liam James and Mireille Enos.

Why do we lie?

Or is it fair to label the hopeful words exchanged between parents and children, between spouses, between friends, as deceitful?

Not long ago, I watched the final episodes of “The Killing,” a gloomy Seattle-based cop show. In a tense scene between Sarah Linden—a single mother and detective—and Jack, her oft-neglected teen son, she reassured him, “Nothing will ever happen to me.”


Sure, it’s only television, and grim or not, it’s over in a cleverly scripted forty plus minutes. Given that the dour Linden was a main character, she may survive every calamity concocted by the writers. Nonetheless, what a TV mom said to her son has been repeated with similar words in endless shows, plays, and movies: nothing will ever happen to me. Read More →

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather