Dear Annie: Typically, I thrive when I'm in a fast-paced, busy environment. I am getting my master's degree in nutrition, am working a part-time job, have a boyfriend and am training for a marathon. A few weeks ago, I started an unpaid internship at a local hospital to get some more on-the-job training. However, life is really starting to overwhelm me at the moment, and I want to quit the internship to leave more room in the schedule to relax (and eat and sleep). All I've done so far is go through beginning training with a group of 10 other interns. There is no supervisor or point person to speak with, just a rotating group of people who have trained us. Though the program is fine, it's not very influential in my field, and I haven't made strong connections. So my fear of burning bridges is minimal. Do you think it would be OK to quit the program via email? That's where all my communication has been so far, and I'm looking forward to no longer having to worry about this. — Peacing Out Politely
Dear Peacing Out: Wring a last bit of real-world experience from this internship by quitting the right way. That means in person. Ask one of the people who have been training you for a private meeting. Keep it short, sweet and humble. Express gratitude for the opportunity. Follow up afterward via email with a formal letter of resignation so the company has it in writing. Then you may "peace out" with peace of mind.
Dear Annie: I enjoy your column and read it every day. I'd like to comment on the letter from "Death With Dignity My Way," the person who wants to not die with family members all around when the time comes.
Eighteen years ago, my 48-year-old husband died after just three months with pancreatic cancer. He was very healthy otherwise, but it was apparent just six weeks after his diagnosis that the disease was too far gone. They immediately just sent us home and started having hospice nurses show up. I rebelled against that. We had two young teenagers, who were facing the most horrible event in their young lives, and I felt that they did not need to witness their father's death to know that it happened. Nor did they need to come into their home each night for years afterward to look at the spot where their beloved dad died. Death is not a beautiful experience that we should all share together.
I took care of my husband at home and made him as comfortable as possible, but when he really began to fail, I took him to the hospital to be admitted. I never left his side, and my children visited when he was having a good day. I had to take care of them, as well as him. He passed away in the hospital. Let my kids hate the hospital and be angry at the hospital. Many hospitals also have hospice wings now so that the dying can have privacy if they wish. Hospice at home is not for everyone. — Reader in Norwich, Conn.
Dear Reader in Norwich: I'm sorry for the loss of your husband. Many people grapple with the issue of dying at home versus dying in a hospital. It's commendable that you and your husband made a decision that was right for your family.
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