Readers of the cancer blog I kept before I needed to add grief to the mix -- No defeat baby, no surrender -- may recall my response to Bill Keller's NYT op-ed about Lisa Boncheck Adams, a cancer patient who chronicled her experience online via blog posts and tweets. I was astounded at his need to judge this person who, in my view, was living as authentically as any of us could wish.
I am devastated that she is no longer living. However, her authenticity, her words, and her determination remain in the world and with us.
This particular post of hers really resonates with me. Authenticity, indeed. And no judgment on anyone who, facing his or her own death, has needs that differ slightly or partly or wildly from what she says she needs. It's the authenticity and honesty that count.
We all have the ability to think about how we want to be spoken of and remembered when we are no longer living. Maybe, like Lisa, we will take the opportunity to define it for ourselves and express it to others. It may not be easy to do, especially if we feel we are a long, long way from departing this earth. But it is worth considering.