Reasons not to die

why i cant die

I am sick at the moment, but it’s not terminal – yet. It’s curable, according to my doctors. I just need to be faithful to my treatment schedule. And everyone says that you have to maintain a Positive Attitude.

For me, it comes down to this: I don’t want to die.

Here are some reasons why not:

  • I don’t want to (as I said). Isn’t that sufficient?
  • Mom keeps appearing to me in dreams in which we’re going on a long trip together. I loved Mom dearly, but she was not especially nice to travel with. If I can put this trip off, I will.
  • People need me in the office. They need me to pay the phone bill and order stupid irrelevant office supplies and listen to them complain.
  • My student employees need me. (Or rather, I need them. I need to tell them stories.  They pretend to be interested, but that’s okay by me.)
  • Most of all: I don’t want to leave Partner alone.

This is the most beautiful time of year in Rhode Island. It’s sunny but cool, and the colors are very full: the green of summer and the shades of autumn are all together at once.

I’m glad I get to see a New England autumn one more time.

I don’t mean to be morbid. But still: one has to be realistic.

Just one more time.

(And many more after that, I hope.)


About Loren Williams
Gay, partnered, living in Providence, working at a local university. Loves: books, movies, TV. Comments and recriminations can be sent to

14 Responses to Reasons not to die

  1. I read somewhere or other that a study showed (don’t they always show something?) that people who get depressed during cancer treatment have just as good a survival rate as the cheery ones. That is good to know because I think I would be a terrible whiner. Thinking of you!! A lot! Another reason to live: to visit the Peninsula again and let us take you and Partner to dinner at the Depot, and if you are here two night, we can all go to Pelicano as well!

    • I’m moderately cheerful, but I do suspect that it won’t matter in the long run. My sister Susan was aggressively cheerful right up to the end, and it didn’t do a bit of good. So: a little self-pity from time to time is to be expected.

      I so much look forward to seeing the Peninsula again, and meeting you. This is one of the things that will keep me going through the next three months.


  2. Give yourself permission to do this ANY WAY YOU WANT/CAN! This is your life, my friend. And you’re the one living this shit right now. So be morbid, be irreverent, be scared, be anything you want. Just put one foot in front of the other (as often as you can; stay in bed sometimes if you need to).

    • Thanks for that. I had my feeding tube installed on Friday, and it’s bigger and creepier than I thought it would be, and I didn’t anticipate that having a hole punched through my skin and into my stomach might be painful for a few days afterward. (You can see I’m in serious Feeling Sorry For Myself mode.)

      • When I said “this is really good” I meant the comment above, NOT having an extra large creepy feeding tube installed…as I am sure you figured out.

      • I understand, don’t worry. The feeding tube was creepy and foreign for the first day or two, but I’m already beginning to get used to it. (It hurts to laugh, sadly, but hopefully that won’t last.)

        There will be some self-pity from time to time. Partner and I have already agreed that we’re going to feel what we feel, and not try to hide it too much. If I’m miserable or frightened, I’m gonna say so. IF he feels miserable, so will he.

        Did I tell you I bought one of your friend’s Sesqua Valley books? I’ve only glanced at it so far. I like it – anything that’s a little like Lovecraft.

        Thanks for all of your support. You’ve really gone above and beyond. Hopefully this will be mostly over and done with by Xmas or the New Year. Then – who knows – we may be having dinner with you on the Peninsula.


      • Cool re buying Wilum’s book!

        Hope to be seeing you in 2014 or thereabouts.

      • Looking forward to reading it. I’m building up a little stack of books to read, for when I’m – ahem – less active.

        Five teeth out today. Surprisingly quick and easy. My poor teeth never wanted to be in my mouth anyway; they practically jump out on their own, like rats jumping off a sinking ship.

        (Not that I’m sinking, mind you.)

      • Poor old teeth!

        A nice stack of books and movies could help pass many an inactive hour. I hope it helps that it will be late autumn down time. I hope if/when it is my turn to face this sort of thing, it will be offseason.

      • I’m accumulating a nice stack of books for the quiet days ahead when I can’t get out much, and your friend’s Sesqua Valley book is on the list. I almost started it the other day, but I decided to wait until I really needed something to divert myself.

    • This is really good and reminds me of what garden writer Ann Lovejoy wrote about going through a very difficult time in her life: Just do the next necessary thing.

  3. starproms says:

    I did get to see The Fall in the Smoky Mountains, but so far not where you are. Enjoy it but don’t think it will be your last! What makes you think Jesus is so keen to have you up there anyway? In any case we haven’t finished with you down here yet. Believe it…

    • No, I’m sure Jesus would not be keen to have me. And I intend to try very hard to make it through this. But it does make me appreciate things more. Sometimes you see a pretty thing, and you think: That’s nice. But if you should ever think that it might be the last time you see it . . .

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