You might think there's nothing funny about dying, but you'd be wrong...
Alexie Sayle has made a short video which he's posted on YouTube where he talks to people with terminal illnesses. The overall feeling is that you have to laugh or you'll cry. It seems that the people with the death sentence hanging over them are most irritated by people who are unable to cope with their illness; people who don't know what to say with them.
Perhaps I am odd, but I have never been embarrassed by other peoples' sufferings. Some years ago, I remember a friend of mine who had been given six months to live, dying from breast cancer. When I first saw her after I heard her news, I said to her something like "I'm sorry to hear you've had some shit news." She turned to me and said "Yes, I've been given six months to live."
I wasn't phased at this and just said something like "Well, you just have to cram as much as possible into whatever time you've got left." We went on to have quite a long conversation about just about anything, including cancer.
At the end of it all, she said to me "You know, it's really nice to be able to have a normal conversation with someone. People just don't now what to say to me." Well, I understand the discomfort. It's difficult and, if I'm honest, you can't help being grateful that it's not you or one of your nearest and dearest.
Of course, it just might be that I'm insensitive.
Anyway, have a shuftee at Alexie's video and next time you come across someone with a terminal illness, go and have a normal chat with them and don't be afraid they might mention their situation. It will make their day and, you never know, it might be you on the receiving end one day...