5. Learning more than we care to.

I was sitting at the desk working on some orders, you came up behind me and hugged me.

“Will you have enough to do”, you asked.
“Yes I think so”, I replied.

Two days later you were dead. We knew you were going to die – you had breast cancer that had metastasized and was now throughout your body. Five years – five years you struggled with surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, even a bone marrow transplant but nothing had stopped the cancer.

“Will you have enough to do”, you asked.

And I mumbled out something, to be honest I was not even sure what I said because I was so angry. So angry at the cancer, so angry that you were dying, so angry that you couldn’t and wouldn’t talk about it. Give us each some peace of mind in a difficult time, some closure.

My “I” was so big I couldn’t get beyond what I was feeling and try to respect the way you wanted to die. But you didn’t want to die, of course not and that was perhaps part of the problem. But we were two people who were the best of friends – working side by side for nearly 15 years. Traveling together we knew one another so well but your death was something we could not talk about …although we’d covered just about every other topic available for discussion.

The next day you were taken against your will to the hospital, they gave you some medications to sedate you but your body was already so weak that it could not process the medication…you slipped into a coma, never woke up again.

“Will you have enough to do”? What stupid lines to leave someone you love with and my response was just as insipid.

Yes I had enough to do, to process, to grow through, hurt to live with. Yes enough to do. I learned more then I cared to learn (on so many levels) through the way that you died.

Daniel Gottlieb shares a story of visiting his dead mother in his book “Learning From The Heart” he writes…

As I left my mother’s side for the last time, I thought about the hundreds of relationships I’ve seen in which people love each other but cannot see each other clearly. They cannot feel the warmth in each other’s hearts; all they can feel is resentment for past injuries, or fear of future ones. Or years of frustration as they have tried unsuccessfully to change each other. It saddens me to see people who love each other yet cannot open themselves and simply hold each other’s hands.

And as we move through life each hurt we experience lies on top of all the others, revives them – brings unhealed parts of ourselves back into the sunlight. And people warned me, warned me, and warned me, and warned me but I didn’t listen. Here I am again without any sense of closure, care or concern.

It all spins around in my head without resolution.

Working through how one goes forward without holding so much anger in my heart.

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8 Responses to “5. Learning more than we care to.”

  1. So I’ve been reading you for awhile, but haven’t been commenting much until lately – and now I’m linking you on my blog.

    I just wanted to tell you that what you write helps me, in a very odd, obscure, only-semi-related way. And that I’m enjoying your daily writing project immensely.

    Oh, and that I love Cat Stevens. 😉

  2. Sometimes reliving and relearning the experiences helps with healing, helps you draw all those disconnected parts of past and present into a cohesive whole that shapes you, or re-shapes you.

    And sometimes I just write about how it should have been, how I wanted it to be, and how it might be in the future. In a strange way, rewriting history also brings me healing.

  3. you’ve had a lot of pain in your young life…

    {{hugs}}

  4. i will try to say this gently and softly, although i am very angry right now, at your dear friend who passed away from cancer. i am angry at the cancer that cowardly takes so many lives from us, unfairly and unjustly. i think it must have been the only way she could deal with her own mortality, and thats ok for her. BUT as far as you were concerned, bless her, she couldnt see or feel beyond her self. she couldnt reciprocate a closure, hon.. therefore leaving you with unfinished business. i’m so sorry you had to go through that. it isnt fair. the wound is deep. my hope for you is to somehow find a way to either make a piece, or write a letter to burn in a lil ceremony, between you and the universe, and finally let go of it. your soul has been burdened long enough, with this. and yes, old pains are reignited when new similar ones come along. thank god no one has died this time…. it sounds like this is all about feeling helpless and having no control over a situation. we cant control what others say or do to us, but we can control how we react and respond to it. be gentle with yourself… i have all the faith in you that there will come a time when you let this go. as i always like to think, “when the student is ready, the teacher appears.”
    but the lesson is there for you to learn, once again…. what is your lesson? find it, claim it and it will set you free. there is something in this for you to learn…
    it’s all about what this relationship has brought up in you, that you must look at…. again from a different angle.
    i DO believe life is all about lessons we need to learn, to bring us to wholeness.
    the quote was absolutely beautiful, J. i will copy it for my own comfort, if i may?
    have you ever heard of or read melodie beattie’s “the language of letting go?” it’s a daily affirmation book on how to let go and live each day in peace and harmony within ourselves. it has been my bible and helped me through very painful times. my copy is old and well worn…
    next time you are in a book store, browse through it and see if anything fits.

    you are stronger than you know.
    and you WILL come through this, into the light.

    be gentle.

    C

  5. Thank you all for visiting and for your comments.

  6. Annie Strickland Says:

    I’m sorry for your loss and I so hope, with time, you are able to move forward letting go of as much anger as you possibly can.

    That Gottlieb quote really resonates with me. I’m hoping to let go of a little anger and resentment myself…

    Thank you for writing.

  7. 8thdayplanner Says:

    There are times when I just want to drive to that God forsaken place you live and hold your hand. For a long time.

  8. Wow MLC, that’s intense. I was sorry to read of your loss. I’m really hoping you can find the peace with this you so deserve.

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