The Good News And The Bad News


“Which do you want to hear first, the good news or the bad news?” I’ve always hated it when someone has asked me that question. The way I see it is that essentially the same thing is going to happen. You’re still going to hear both the good and the bad, so I don’t think there’s a “best” order in which to receive news. The question just seems pointless.

Life itself doesn’t ask us to choose. And that’s what happened just recently. Since completing the website of a restaurant, I’ve been waiting to hear back from the owner about possibly doing his other website. Also a restaurant, but a more popular and well-known one. A couple of weeks ago I sent him an email following up on his experience of the new website with a subtle “reminder” that when he’s ready to proceed with the next website, to let me know. When we first started working together, he had told me that if it goes well, he might ask me to design his other restaurants website. So it wasn’t a definite thing. He’s happy with the website I did for him, and told me that he’ll speak to the other owner about the other website. The other owner contacted me about a week later and we arranged a meeting. On Thursday evening, he let me know that he accepted my business proposal and will be making the deposit, so I can go ahead with the website. Good news!

Then last night I heard that my uncle, the one who lived with us for a while, has lung cancer. For the past week he’s been extremely sick, and would pop in at the office every now and then before going to the hospital for tests. He’s been struggling with his health for a while now, and every time I’d see him, he’d look worse and worse. Bad news!

I’m going to go visit him at home this afternoon, and I’m nervous. What do I say to him? How am I supposed to “act” around him now? I kind of don’t feel anything at the moment other than nervous, and I don’t actually want to go see him. I’m very awkward about things like this. My grandmother passed away from this very disease and I hated what it did to her. I never wanted to have to go through that again. But I know it’s not about me, it’s about him. But I’m still involved, and don’t quite know how to deal with it. I helped my grandmother when she was going through this, and it was torture. This makes me feel extremely guilty and ashamed, because I feel what right do I have to feel anything negative or to think about how it affects me, when they are the actual ones suffering?

It’s a long weekend, so no work on Monday, but I’ll be keeping busy with my own work on the website. I’m glad I got this job, and especially more so now. So I think this time, receiving the good news first actually made a bit of a difference. But again, life didn’t give me a choice.

7 thoughts on “The Good News And The Bad News

  1. Breathing Deeply

    Rayne, so sorry to hear about your Uncle. That is such tough news. I’m happy for you about the website job. Thats so exciting and a testament to your skills. But the “good news” sure doesn’t out way the “bad news”. Life is so hard, with ups and downs and work, family and ensuring our own self care and mental health. Celebrate your achievement because you deserve to feel good about that. And you will give all you have to your Uncle and family during this really hard time because it’s what we do when life throws gut punches. Sending you good thoughts.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for your lovely comment. The way I feel at the moment is that I barely have enough for me, and don’t have the energy to deal with things with my uncle and family. I’ve always put others before myself, and I’m so tired of it. But I know I’ll do what I have to.


  2. drgeraldstein

    Sorry about your uncle, Rayne. What are you supposed to say? It will likely depend on what he wants to be said. Just abiding with him is good, so long as he has the energy. You’ll figure it out. And, yes actually, you are going through it too, now for the second time. Don’t make yourself into a martyr, but honor the relationship as best you can. If you love him, tell him so. Even self sacrifice in a good cause has its limits. Best wishes.


  3. I hate that question too. There’s absolutely no sense in it. If there’s news to give then give it and you decide the order in which it’s given based on importance or relevance!

    I’m very sorry to hear about your uncle. That’s such an awful thing to have to go through and I hope he makes a recovery. On the other hand, I’m delighted to hear that you’ll be designing the restaurant’s website. I hope you’ll share your work so we can all take a look 🙂


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