And I'm pregnant. A very good thing that I have been having a hard time celebrating.
Last Thursday our dear friend, neighbor and pastor died after a slightly longer two year battle with stage four colon cancer. Some people say that at least with illnesses one has time to emotionally prepare and I say bull. Even with all this time I am stunned. I am stunned that a healthy 38 year old man and father of three young boys could be stuck down by an illness like this. I am stunned that a mother could lose a child thirty years after losing her eldest in a car accident. I'm stunned that a dear friend of mine is now a widow and that there three year old may grow up to not remember his father. That this once vibrant man with an infectious laugh first faded and is now gone. I find the thought of him being out of pain finally and in heaven comforting for him but not for the family that remains.
And ultimately I am just stunned. I feel like I got punched in the gut, kicked in the teeth and then knocked around for a bit.
I've spent the past days in mostly stunned silence. Not wanting to be around people, especially others that are in the process of grieving as well. It is hard to even write this now.
Ever since the diagnosis on Easter 2008 there has been a cloud of sadness following me and many others. Every good event is tinged with this sadness from the realization that somebody loved by so many is gravely ill. The last time I spent a significant amount of time with him was in early February when they hosted a dinner party for those involved in his chemotherapy treatment. He was in pain, but I never would have guessed that the end was so near and that thing would take a rathe sudden turn the next month. By March the second round of chemotherapy was not working and there were no more options. The cancer was spreading everywhere and constantly showing up in new locations.
Then on Easter this year I saw him for what would be the final time. After that he was so frail that he mostly retreated. This was right around when we found out that I am finally pregnant again. Let me tell you how hard it is to be joyful about a new life when in your heart you doubt somebody close will be around by the time it is born. These months have been lived feeling like I had a gun pressed to my head and was just waiting for the trigger to get pulled. Kind of stressful.
But it is over now and time to mourn, pick up the pieces and most importantly take care of his wife, children and grieving parents as best we can as a community. Having lived though the pain of my mom's battle with brain cancer that she ultimately lost I deeply understand the position that the children are in. But I also have learned just how blessed I was to have my mother in my life for as long as I did.
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