Tactless or Cruel?

Vernon Coleman

Antoinette had to see a health care worker who knows she has breast cancer.

`Oh well, we’ve all got to die of something,’ he said.

`I’m 47,’ said Antoinette. `I’m not ready to die.’

`Why, what do you want to do with your life?’ he asked.

A few days earlier a workman had come to hang some new curtains. He too knows that Antoinette has breast cancer.

`My mother in law had that,’ he said with alarming jollity. `She was dead three months after the diagnosis.’

I’m afraid I burst into tears, even though I KNOW Antoinette is going to beat the cancer. `Must be going,’ said the workman, heading for the door and hurrying away, clearly embarrassed by my tears rather than his gauche remark.

Both this incidents made me feel sick inside. And both depressed me enormously. These were not isolated events.

Is it me, or is the world becoming crueller?

Or is thoughtlessness now endemic?

Copyright Vernon Coleman December 2019