Thursday, February 23, 2012

Not what I was expecting

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!


victoria said...

I really have not even close to the right words. I am incredibly glad you have the support you do. But right now wrap up in the quilt I made you that is there for all of the hugs that I am too far away to bring.

Jenna said...


I went through a phase where I read every adoption blog I could find on the internet, but your humor and honesty made your blog special.
I'm so sorry for your losses. I lost my dad to lung cancer when I was 15, and though no grief journey is the same, I can relate to many of your posts.
I'm not sure if you've heard of this book, but it has helped me through many difficult times. She also wrote a book called Cold Tangerines that is amazing, too.

Also, I'm not sure if you've heard about Camp Kesem but it's an organization that has become a very important part of my life. It's a camp for kids whose parents have/had cancer, and is completely free for the families. It's run by college students at different campuses across the country, and Ohio State just started one this year.

I hope this doesn't seem too odd, but I felt God telling me to share with you. I'll be praying.


momminitup said...

I remember having a similar realization as well... as an adult, it hit me that losing my mom at the age of seven was a really big freaking deal. I think it's so important to acknowledge the enormity of your losses - in a way, down-playing the grief and what is missing in your life is a disservice to their memory.

As a teenager I read "Motherless Daughters" by Hope Edelman, and it's not an exaggeration to say it was life-changing for me. She also wrote a follow up book, "Motherless Mothers," that I read shortly after my first child was born, and I keep thinking I need to go back and read it again now that I have eight years of perspective as a mom. I highly, highly recommend both books.

I am so sorry you have such a need for a grief counselor, but I think seeing her is a wonderful, amazing thing that you're doing for yourself and for your family. It's a real sign of strength and I admire you.

Sarah said...

You are beautiful. Beautiful in your brokenness. Praying for you today.

KTC said...

thinking of you, dear friend! with every day, we feel the curse... lived out in us and around us. Life itself is painful. And you've had WAY more than your share! Loss and disappointment are all too present.... so longing for Jesus' kingdom where "everything sad will become untrue."

Stacie@HobbitDoor said...

I've been thinking about you a lot lately. I'm so glad you've found a good counselor. The truth is supposed to set us free. Praying you find some freedom in the midst of your tragedy.

Mom said...

Oh E, I have not been on your blog for many months til tonight. I am so sorry yet so thankful for how hard Susie's cancer has been on you. I have come to love you so much this past month. Just as I wish I could take this from Susie, I wish I could take this pain from you. In your previous blogs you have put into words so many of my own selfish thoughts of wanting, needing Susie. As a parent you are so programed to be there for your children and then they grow up and one day you realize they are there for you as much as you hope you are there for them. I can't begin to tell you how thankful I am for you and your friendship with Sus. She is so blessed to have you walk this journey with her. I apologize for the "mom" google account identity, but then again you did say you and Susie are like sisters!