Few branches of medicine have created as much comfort, solace and relief.
When we realize that traditional Western medicine is not going to be able to cure a life-threatening illness, the palliative care team is able to help. Instead of torturing and bankrupting patients, they can offer connection, humanity and closure.
Too often, we view the fight as an unalloyed virtue. Instead of sharing our preferences and desires before we get ill (as though it’s some sort of bad luck charm), we simply hope for the best and then wait far too long (and create too much family stress) before embracing the next step in our journey.
And, since I often look for metaphors, it’s probably worth noting that the same approach works for projects, companies and even relationships. We might all come out ahead if we focus on a productive and comfortable way to wrap things up, instead of fighting to the last moment.