- Current “I was there” groups:
Terminal illness was the family secret
“I was there” groups are on-line communities for people who bore witness at the end of life. Have a suggestion for an “I was there” group? Let us know.
Message from Dr. Margolis about “I was there”:
It’s come to my attention that there is a gap in understanding or medical teaching on how people die.
Confused and shocked partners can watch their loved one cough out massive amounts of blood – no one explained the lung cancer could suddenly rupture a large blood vessel. Children can grow up feeling excluded and starved for information because their parents wouldn’t explain that “daddy had cancer.” It was a “family secret.” Sometimes, the common thread is a delayed diagnosis, or massive weight loss, or too many tubes to keep track of.
Witnessing the end of life — whether crashing down as an extreme event or arriving quietly after relentless, gradual change – may end up making you feel isolated.
The idea of the “I was there” group is experimental. We want to turn an isolating experience into a shared one. Chances are, someone has gone through something similar – and might understand what you went through. We’re adding groups that resonate with your experience not necessarily your loved one’s diagnosis. We want you to know that your humanity is broader than — and that you are part of life well beyond — the diagnosis. For example, you won’t find any cancer groups here, although you may find many who’ve shared that journey. Lots of people can understand what you’ve been through. You’re still part of life.
Interested in joining a group?
Find the page and make a request to join. Please contact me if you run into any difficulties. We’re shifting some of the groups from “secret” to “closed” status and it may take a bit to work out the kinks. Your membership in a closed group is visible, but the group content is not.
Have an idea for a group? Let me know.
These groups are for you.
-Dr. Ben Margolis