Life’s ugly face

Sometimes life shows its ugly face a little bit too often. These past weeks have been like that. And the fact that there’s nothing you can do about it makes it even harder.

I have a wide circle of friends, acquaintances and colleagues with whom I try to keep in close contact. Most of them I have known for more than a decade so we have shared relatively much of life together.

A few months ago I got some disturbing news. A dear friend of mine was diagnosed with breast cancer. Being who she is she dove straight into all the treatments she had to go through … and slowly had to admit it was far more difficult than she had ever imagined. She suffered some very bad complications and at the moment all contact goes via one friend as she is not able to spend much time on the phone or the computer. It’s not going well.

Two months ago one of my dearest colleagues told us her husband (age 55) was finally diagnosed with lung cancer. He had suffered much pain but it took a long time for the specialists to find out what the problem was. He died last week and we had his funeral last Monday. She is now left with a lot of grief and broken dreams.

Two weeks ago one of my dearest  friends called me. They had found a small lump in her breast and she had to go to the hospital. These two weeks have been very scary. Luckily they outcome for her was better …  she is clean now and other than some precautionary radiation therapy she will be all right.

All this brought home quite forcefully how fragile life is. We like to think we live forever and will die at a ripe old age. These last weeks have shown me that “a ripe old age” can mean “in your fifties”. I can’t imagine hearing the news that “we can do nothing for you anymore” at my age. I’m still far too busy living.

But so are my friends. And so was my colleague’s husband.

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5 thoughts on “Life’s ugly face

  1. A woman who was a high school classmate of mine also goes to the same church as I do and we had a conversation just this past Sunday about our “age”. There is a FB page for our high school. Just in the last week, two classmates passed away.

    My wife is worried that I will have a heart attack or that snoring will kill me or a car will hit me while I am riding my bike!

    • I so understand Mir … but of course you can’t live in fear all day. But I guess one of the sign we’re getting older is that we see more people our age around us pass away.

  2. my brother died a week ago today – far from home in Ireland of all places. quiet a trip all round for all of the family – he beingh the first to go – yikes , who will be next.To see his funeral service live on line was a nice help – really felt I was there plus having spent each day talking with him about many things and helping him sort some important things before he passed on. I think for all of us there will be loose ends we need sort out let alone the big one with you know who!!! I have always had it in mind that everything we encounter from illness to death is an experience for us as much as living and we are to embrace all with the same enthousiasm and gratefulness. Sharing death with my brother sort of validated this with me butI guess when it is my time to experience the things we prefer not to then I can say if what I believe about this is true or not. T

    • Oops I hit the wrong button again and no going back to fix my mistakes!!! My final point is we are here to grow and transform and all that is presented to us I beloieve is for our good. Like you Riete I am finding that many friends are facing all sorts in their lives and only today my mind went back to when my parents were saying the samre things about all their friends – something we all come top experience. Thanks Riete!!

      • Keith, I’m so sorry about your brother’s death. Wishing you all the comfort and strength you need!

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