Talking Through the Tears:
How to start a conversation about dying
For Melissa Redick, it was difficult to admit that death was even a possibility for her father. Bob Redick talks in the videotaped
interviews about sitting Melissa down to try to help shake her out of denial.
And yet, it was hard for him to do that. Because, at some level, he, too, wanted to ignore it.
"I wish it would all go away," he said. "Just go back to normal."
Accepting death isn't something that comes naturally for most. Earlier this year, author Robin Romm published a book called
"The Mercy Papers" that chronicled the last three weeks of her mother's life. In it, Romm is brutally honest about how furious
she was that her mother was dying.
That life would go on as her mother lost her battle with breast cancer was unfathomable. That Romm's mother would be leaving her
forever was tragic. That anything would ever be OK again was impossible to imagine.
"My mom was really an honest person who could handle quite a bit of grief and understood that my pain was going to be necessary.
It wasn't something to be avoided," Romm said. "You can't really get to a place where you appreciate the world unless you grapple with the
things that are ugly."
Two years after Bob's death, the Redicks still think of him daily. All but one of the cars-one that Bob had hoped to work on someday
with Bobby-has been sold. And Adriana settles for kissing a photo of Bob each night.
But the photographs, the video and the letters are all still there. Including one to Adriana:
"I love you forever and ever."
"So I have it in writing," Adriana said.
Tips for Better Communication
Small Mercies - Author Robin Romm talks about her memoir of her mother's death
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