There is a particular horror that occurs when another cancer patient dies. There is a realization that you are not alone. The not knowing is very real in that moment. You grieve, not for their death. But, for the possibility of death in your own situation. Selfish, yes. But, real.
We all know that this is a game of the cruelest kind of roulette. You know that with every passing month is a particular kind of hope mixed with horror. The doctor said between 3-9 months to live. Praise God we have made it 4 months with few complications. But the death of someone you know is in a similar situation leaves a horror that perhaps there are only 5 months left. Or perhaps less. Again, the not knowing will kill you.
Grief is a funny thing. You grieve what you have lost in various stages. I first grieved the loss of my sons physical ability before we knew it was cancer causing it. I then grieved the loss of his life, not knowing if he would make it through surgery. I then grieved the loss of the right side of his body. I then grieved the potential loss of his childhood. I then grieved the normalcy he would never know. And on and on and on and on.
Today, I grieve death. understanding what it feels like to lose a child. I have buried a son before. I grieve for another family now and I grieve the loss of the sense of security I used to have within my own family.
You see, everyone was going to live just the right amount of time and die in just the right order. Perhaps I had not considered any other way. It was never a possibility that a child could die before me again. I had already done that.
So, as I watch another family bury a child. I am keenly aware of the fragility of my situation with John John. All seems well now, but it can change in a few days. With little warning. And, I know more and more every day how precious today is. How hugs and kisses matter. The feel of a hug should be a lasting warmth. A kiss should linger on the cheek. A boo boo treated just right is rewarded with a smile. Hurt feelings fixed create love and joy.
Today is all we have. there are no guarantees on tomorrow. Please love today.