I have written about my uncle's death before. He had a cough for a very long time and multiple other issues. He also had a very sore hip, so he decided to get a cane. Never in all this time did he go see a doctor until he could not get up one day. After all the testing, they had to remove part of his spine that had a tumor growing on it and would have to thereafter wear a neck/shoulder/hold head up looking brace.
Prior to his surgery, the doctor said to him, I'm sorry, but you have STAGE FOUR LUNG CANCER. There is nothing we can do. They couldn't put an amount of time on his survival, but did tell him to get his affairs in order. You know how that goes. This was right before Thanksgiving of 2010.
This uncle was my mother's half brother. My mom was not that close with him. I was not. Quite frankly, I don't recall my sisters or brother, nephews, nieces being close to him either.
After he was diagnosed, a lot of the above-mentioned people seemed to go out of their way to go visit him. He lives about two hours from where we all are. Nobody seemed to want to take me along for the ride; I don't drive. I did go one time with my younger sister. It was both of our only times and we made a day of it as sisters.
Shortly after that time period, he passed. He did get his affairs in order. One thing he wanted was to donate his body to science. They came and got his body and did whatever they do. They returned to the family some ashes. He said on May 14th, 2011 he wanted a small intimate family memorial.
I knew it was today and could have asked someone to ride with them. However, I chose to stay home and pray for him, read the Bible, light a candle and do it my way. The biggest reason for me, and this may be wrong to some is that other than my parents, his sister and my niece, everybody else that was going to be there smokes like there's no tomorrow. Chain smokers galore. For the life of me, I just don't get it. I don't want to be the worst reformed smoker, but that was one of the biggest reasons that woke me up. Our family had finally been hit with cancer. Lung cancer to boot for all the smokers in this family. Not one person, even his two children attempted, talks about trying to quit, and my uncle was only 56 years old.
I think the best gift you could give him and yourself would be to quit. I may be viewed as being selfish because this was about him, but truthfully I just didn't want to be around all that smoke. Either in the car, standing next to, in a building.