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Blawger's Toughest Negotiation: Life's End

The wonder of reading blogs is in part the element of surprise. You never know the direction a blogger will take on any given day -- often neither does the blogger. A highly focused professional blog can suddenly become sublimely personal. This happens in little bits all the time among legal bloggers: a law professor might stray off-topic to riff about a weekend jazz performance; a litigator might pause to post a picture of his newborn child.

For Victoria Pynchon at the Settle It Now Negotiation Blog, her posts in recent days took a dramatic turn to the personal, after she learned last week that her father was in a hospital, close to death. In a series of posts -- three so far and continuing -- she relates what she is going through as she deals with doctors, nurses, social workers and her father's third wife. Her posts are at once gripping and touching. In the first, she sets the stage with family history as she prepares to travel to her father's bedside. The irony here is that, even as she goes off-topic, she stays on topic. In this highly personal series of events, she sees the possibility of more universal lessons about conflict resolution.

I'm telling you this story ... because it's been suggested to me that I lodge a complaint with the local community hospital dad was checked into last week.  Or that I sue the doctor who will play a large role in this story.  I'm thus reminded of the type of conflict that causes people to go to the considerable trouble of finding and hiring legal counsel.  The experience I am about to relate considerably deepens my empathy for those people.

Before I tell this story, I caution my readers not to take the easy way out.  These feelings accompany every kind of conflict -- personal and commercial."

In her second post, she arrives at her father's hospital room and is forced to confront the doctor who is all too ready to pull the plug. In a third, she thanks the friends and readers who have reached out to her. In so doing, she reminds us of another wonder of blogs -- the relationships they can create between writers and readers. As Pynchon writes in thanking the readers who wrote her to express their sympathy, "You don't know how much it means to me to have my readers 'come to life' in the way that so many of you have."

Her posts thus far:

Posted by Robert J. Ambrogi on June 2, 2008 at 01:08 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

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