Marisa D.


“My grandpa stayed with us for almost 2 years when he was in palliative care for cancer. I think I am through the grief part of it, although I’ll always miss him and there will always be sad and happy memories. My grandpa was one who liked puns. He was a really intelligent guy and liked to have thought-provoking conversations – he loved to talk about the philosophical, the big picture, and faith. Having him in my home let me have those conversations with him – to be able to be closer to him in that time and to be able to get to know him as a person was great.

It was a huge awakening to me as a 19-year-old – witnessing death for the first time. I think our culture is so afraid of death. We’re afraid of the unknown. But I think we need to talk about it more. A good death is possible. My grandpa died a good death – he lived a long life, he was surrounded by family and friends, his pain was well-managed, and he was happy – he had what he wanted. It is really hard to see somebody that you love die, but it is also an honour to walk with somebody at that point in their life.”


One thought on “Marisa D.

  1. This is beautiful, Marisa. I’m so pleased to be able to read what you have expressed about your Grandfather, my much-loved brother. You have really shared what was special about him and how he kept an active, social mind and deeply spiritual outlook right to those last hours. I guess the one word I would add to your description is his political involvement over many years and how he maintained that into those last years as well. But most importantly, he showed us that dying is something we do, not something that happens to us, and he did so meaningfully with courage, faith and awareness.

    I am also truly grateful for you and your family providing Phil with so much love and support always, but especially during those last two special years of his life.

    Much love always,


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