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Word Count: 726
Everyday life seems unbelievably minuscule when faced with the prospects of death and dying These are the words of Dr David Avery David is thirty years old unmarried a successful doctor and has recently been confronted with the knowledge that he is suffering from a terminal form of acute leukemia The living room in which Dr Avery and I sit in his Monterey home is beautifully decorated with portraits of angels On nearly every wall these images of ethereal beauty give one a sense of safety and calm It is ironic that these ominous creatures should watch over this home which is covered in a cloud of impending death The only dimension that leads one to believe David is the man in the photographs surrounding us are the piercing green eyes that now look through me He is frail gaunt and as he sits huddled in a blanket I see a shadow of the man I am now engaged to marry A once strong handsome and athletic man he now weighs close to 100 pounds his appetite having fallen victim to rigorous treatments of chemotherapy David speaks slowly at times obviously in great pain a side effect from drugs which are a last ditch effort toward a miracle He composes himself and explains No one can ever truly know what the feeling of death is like until they actually feel it for themselves Generally words such as afraid daunting confusion hopelessness and sorrow spring to mind However David elaborates the knowledge that one is in the process of dying is surreal Everyone knows they are going to die but no one ever believes it He tells me of the conscious realization that death is much a part of life as birth yet is totally unprepared for in our culture If society was aware that death could consume us at any moment we would do
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