I told someone at dinner last night that I cry at least once a day. I think it took them by surprise, which took me by surprise. I have no formal training in despair, but man do I feel like I should have a key to the city. I’m sharing this post, because it’s become increasingly clear to me that I’m not alone. There are other patients and advocates who face impossible situations and loose their minds a little bit at a time, or all together every time the silence hits. I’m sharing this because it’s so hard to talk about. I actually can’t talk about it. I can’t get through the first sentence in the following paragraph without completely breaking down. I’m sharing this because I believe with everything that I am that it’s ok to be broken, that you can’t always be fixed, but that you can still move forward, no matter what.
This is what breaks me:
That time when I skyped with a dying child trying to give her hope when she couldn’t even move her head to face the computer screen. Massaging Laurens swollen legs as she lay in bitter pain days before she died. Reading a facebook message that my friend had died and left her daughter who was also dying. The daughters funeral. The phone call from a frantic stepdad who needed his dying wife to live so that their 8 year old daughter didn’t go back to her abusive father after his wife died. That text from my young dying friend that her kid brother died. All of the parents who lost their babies. Even if their babies were grown. But oh my god, the young ones. All of the cancer parents who had to look at their children’s faces with dying eyes. Knowing more then one family that lost two children within a year of each other. Eating dinner with a friend who lost his wife, and hearing how her ear fell off in front of him as angiosarcoma ate her face away. All of the people who held so tightly to hope that their fingers bled.
There are countless others, each just as devastating. There are no words to make any of it ok. None. I think we shield ourselves so desperately from death that we’ve never developed the right words to even speak about it. So when I talk with my friends who are loosing their minds, all I can say is that I understand. I can give them hugs. I can shed tears with them. I can try and fail to let go with them. I can stamp these words into the ethersphere in order to talk, even when I can’t with my voice. I can try and let them know that they are not alone as they break and that I'll help them collect the shards of glass in the aftermath.
We may cry every single day because we know that we are helpless when tragedy brushes up against us, but I'll tell you what, I wouldn't have it any other way. And neither would my friends who get this completely.
Here's to life, health, and happiness, and in all other times to kleenex.