Honesty, respect, and love

by Andrea Powell, HPCCR Marketing Manager

Hannah and her mom

Hannah and her mom

Readers, I try not to do this very often, but today I’m going to wreck your soul. So if you don’t feel like weeping (because that’s what happened to me), then don’t read the article that I’m going to share with you today.  But you should.  You really, really should.

I won’t get into too many specifics (because I expect you to read this remarkable story), but it’s about a young girl, Hannah Duffy, who found out when she was just 13 years old that she had a malignant brain tumor.  Her mother, Susan, received this news on her own 47th birthday.  Hannah had nine really great months and then she declined for about five weeks until her death.  She was 14 years old when she died.

There’s a good reason that I am asking you to read about Hannah.  (A really good reason.  Despite what you might think, I don’t like to cause you emotional distress for giggles.)  In this article, you will read about a surprising element of Hannah’s story — the honesty and openness with which her family discussed (with her) her illness and prognosis.  Her parents, her doctors, and her chaplain never hemmed and hawed.  Because of the enormous love they had for Hannah, they gave her the information she needed to know and they didn’t sugarcoat it.  They asked her about her fears (not being remembered), they answered all of her questions (will it hurt to be cremated?), and they acknowledged her requests (she asked her friends to wear pink high heels to her wake and asked them to sew her name into their wedding gowns when they eventually get married).  In short, the adults in Hannah’s world showed respect for her life by helping her know what to expect.  And that allowed her to dictate the rest of the time she had on this earth in a way that was fulfilling.

This is what it’s about, people.  Honesty, respect, and love.  Regardless of age.

Now, when you read this story (and you just have to), you’ll realize that this outstanding young lady was extremely mature and had an almost unworldly prescience that was beyond our understanding.  Just wait until you get to the part about 9:11 on the clock.  I’m not going to spoil it for you, but it will leave you amazed, mystified, and utterly heartbroken.

At this point, I don’t know if you are looking forward to or dreading reading Hannah’s story.  But when you do, you’ll realize that Hannah’s story carries some valuable lessons.  Don’t be afraid of your future.  Embrace life.  Love others with all of your strength.  And find your own ways to never be forgotten.

In case you didn’t click on one of the many links within the above paragraphs, here’s the link one more time: http://ht.ly/JSgSB.  Please read it.  But get a box of tissues first.

Explore posts in the same categories: advance directives, cancer, end of life, hospice

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5 Comments on “Honesty, respect, and love”

  1. Samantha Says:

    There are not enough tissues, beautifully written Andrea.

  2. Nancy Cole Says:

    Ok, you had me at the pink high heels and wedding gowns. Then I read Hannah’s story. What an amazing young lady. Now, there is simply not enough make up will fix my red eyes.

  3. Emily Jones Says:

    HI Andrea,

    Your blogs continue to amaze me and impress me.

    This one about Hannah Duffy was incredible. What a story!

    thanks, Emily

  4. Tess Boshamer Says:

    Drea, I Love reading your blogs.YOU lift me up every time and make me realize my many Blessings.Your Grand mother is smiling down and saying I Love You,I Love You God Bless You.I Love you too ! Mom

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