I recently read a synopsis of Elizabeth Kubler Ross's work on death and dying. Being advanced in age, I sat my son down and explained the five stages he would face when my final days came, as they surely must.
"You will feel five stages of grief," I explained, "denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and finally acceptance. I'm telling you this because I don't want you to suffer too long, especially in that depression stage."
"Wait a minute, Dad," he said. "I think those are stages YOU go through when you get the final diagnosis, not ME." I checked the article. He was right.
Somewhat embarrassed I told him, "Of course I go through the stages too. I know that. But I don't want you to be depressed either."
"Thanks, Dad," he said. "So I just go straight to stage five then, right?"
"Well, straight as you can, I mean."
"No problem," he said, popping the lid on his Bud Light.