It was a rough week, my friends. We lost Libby, a member of The Shitty Club. Our name actually came from Libby. When she joined us last year she said, “Thanks for letting me join your shitty club.” Hence, we became The Shitty Club. I am still in denial. Logically, I know that we all have cancer. Duh, that’s why it is called The Shitty Club! I also know that death is a part of life. My brain can’t really process it though. How can she be gone? She was just sending us a text a couple weeks with her wicked sharp humor. My brain is struggling to grasp the concept. My heart knows though.
My friends and I are trying to comfort each other. One of our tribe said this is the reason she has shied away from other cancer support groups. You start to love someone and it makes it devastating when you lose them. Because it is a cancer support group. Statistically speaking, the chance is high that you are going to lose someone. Her comment made me think about the intricacies of grief. Loving makes it harder to lose someone. That’s what grief is. The loss of someone, or something, that you love. I have never stopped to think of what grief means in words. It is always just an ache. I always equated my cancer diagnosis and a grieving process. I didn’t lose someone, but I lost a part of me that I loved. A healthy body, life without chemo, a 26 year teaching career. I had to become comfortable with the new me, and love her just as much as the me before cancer.
The people that you love become a part of you. The million dollar question is…do you avoid loving things that you know you can lose? I don’t think so. The whole cycle of loving and losing is what makes us complete. It helps us to appreciate the time we have. It is hard on us down to our very soul, but I still think it is worth it. I left Libby a message on her husband’s phone the night before she passed. He was playing the voicemails for her. I struggled as to what to say. What words would have meaning? In the end, I kept it simple. I love you. My life is better for having known you. We will miss you but we are going to be OK. My favorite Dr. Seuss quote came to mind. “Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.” I love you, my friends. Keep going to the party. We are all going to be ok.