My other coworkers, people who constantly bitched about the ill woman, poured out their false sentiments in writing, and some even went to visit her. If I were sick, the last people I would want to see would be those who visit out of some kind of obligatory guilt. It's the same when someone you didn't care for dies -- sure, you feel bad for their family because you're not heartless, and you may question your own mortality and be struck by the cruel randomness of life. But death does not make one a better person; it just makes one no more. Sickness did not make my coworker more likeable; it just made her ill.
I try to resist being swayed by the expectations of others and the temptation of feeling obligated to do what other people think I should do. Instead, I work on doing what I feel is right. It all comes down to this: Mine is the only life I get to lead, and I intend on leading it. This doesn't make me horrible, it doesn't make me cold or ruthless -- it makes me honest.