I now have a standing weekly appointment with my grief counselor. There are several words that you don't really ever expect to add to your personal vocabulary. Grief counselor and oncologist are two of them. Now I have both. Debbie has been wonderful. She has been an amazing listening ear. There is something priceless about an hour in which I get to talk just about how I am doing.
This morning, Debbie and I spent an hour talking about something that I've recently just embraced. I don't think it was a huge surprise, and probably won't be to you if you've followed my story throughout the past year. But it is something I'm not sure I've verbalized. Nor am I proud of. But guess what? I'm afraid to die. With a capital UH-fraid. That's probably not a very *Christian* thing to say. I'm pretty sure it's not the "what comes next" part of death that scares me; but rather, the actual dying process. So we started to scratch the surface on that one. It was heavy. Yet encouraging. Weird, right?
In the midst of that conversation another thing was un-earthed. She referred to my last year and a half as *tragic.* And then it dawned on me... I've been living through a tragedy, and I didn't really see it for what it has been. I guess in my mind I've understood that the loss of both of my parents has been devastating, yet have often said to myself, "Everyone loses their parents." I've also acknowledged that my cancer and the treatment was rough. Super rough. But then reminded myself there are lots of people around me who are battling some kind of sickness.
But now that one of my dearest friends is facing cancer, while pregnant, it feels like I'm staring down the barrel of a loaded gun called loss once again. Yes, my last year and a half has been a TRAGEDY. Not just hard. Not just an event that in and of itself would be hard enough, but an unfathomable, sickening tragedy.
I've not thought of it like that. And in some odd way, finally quantifying it with that word might be the beginning of a long, painful yet freeing process. Pray that I would find the strength to move through this emotionally. It all sounds so dramatic to me. But I sense this is the new part of the journey that God is setting me on to head me toward freedom. And freedom sure does sound refreshing!