Sunday, September 25, 2005

Your Truth: "It's not important to me."

Stella is a 78 year old Japanese-American woman. She was recently diagnosed with metastatic cancer and is not expected to live more than 6 months. Her health had deteriorated so much that her elderly husband was no longer able to take care of her at home, so she has moved into a nursing home. When you enter her room, she immediately starts talking, almost non-stop.

"My family lives an hour away and it is too difficult for them to make the trips to come see me. It's not important to me."

You try to engage her to say more about how she feels. When you ask her if she is sad or worried about her family, she says no. When you ask if she misses her family, she simply repeats, "It's not important to me. They have jobs that they need to be at. You learn to accept life when you're old." But when you try to ask her questions, she quickly returns to telling you that her family can't visit and again explains why.

How do you respond?

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