"There comes a time for all of us when we need to man up and 'walk the walk' instead of 'talk the talk' and having been born in the Chinese Year of the Horse has certainly helped me to ride out the storm so far. The creation of false impressions may work for us occasionally, but rest assured that the time will come when there will be no substitution for telling the truth and taking the requisite action.
When I was told around two years ago that I had a terminal illness, I won't pretend that there wasn't some degree of fear I needed to face and deal with. Naturally, I would have preferred not to have received the news for another ten or twenty years; not because I feared death as we all have to die sometime, but because having received the news, I now felt obligated to do something about it. I knew that whatever I did or whoever I told, that 'doing nothing' was not an option open to me!
My greatest concern wasn't how sadly others might respond to the news when told, but how well or badly others might feel after my death without my daily presence in their lives; loved ones like my wife, children, brothers and sisters. I quickly came to the decision that 'keeping quiet about my condition', particularly to family members, would be a selfish act, as to leave them in ignorance would merely create more hurt for them after my passing than they needed to have.
This was undoubtedly a correct decision and one which I have no hesitation in urging others to take likewise, in the event of ever being presented with the same dilemma. I cannot tell you how much it pained me to hear my daughter and sons cry when they first learned of the news, but I know that they would have cried harder and longer had I not told them.
You see, just as it is important for someone who is dying to have the opportunity to come to terms with their demise in order that they can put their affairs in order, so it is for those bereaved who are left behind. Almost two years along the line since I told my family, I know that the mere telling has healthily helped them in the grieving process by being able to prepare and thereby gradually accept the inevitable when the day arrives.
'Knowing the truth' enables all of us to 'get on with our lives' without recrimination or regret and to make the most of our time together that we are left with. Each day longer I now live is one more day that is happier than the one before. Indeed, I feel so good at the moment that I often forget my terminal condition. Then I remember why I feel thus; it is because I am living today, not dying!" William Forde: April 29th, 2015.