DEAR ABBY: I have terminal cancer and a five- to seven-year life expectancy, despite undergoing intense chemotherapy. I have accepted this and will not undergo further treatment. I eagerly await death.
I am divorced with two grown daughters who despise each other and have vowed to never associate with each other again. Therefore, I cannot look forward to family outings or get-togethers. I am forced to choose who to be with for each occasion.
I recently bought a T-shirt that says: "In Memory of When I Cared." When strangers see it, they laugh and say I truly can't mean that, but they are wrong. When I tell them this is how I truly feel, they say they will "pray for me." I understand why they feel compelled to say that, but I don't want anyone praying for me unless they pray for my death. How should I handle this? -- CONTENTED WITH DIAGNOSIS
DEAR CONTENTED: I'm sorry for your diagnosis, and for the fact that your daughters cannot get along -- even to give you comfort as your end approaches.
That said, when someone wears a T-shirt with a message on it, it usually invites questions. In your case, a logical question would be, "Cared about WHAT?" When you respond that you no longer care about living, the person will feel uncomfortable and try to say something positive. Unless you want to invite a long discussion, handle it by saying thank you.