Our hearts have been heavy around here this weekend even as we rush about decorating the tree and checking things off our our lists.
The daughter of a friend in our community died on Friday. She had tirelessly and fiercely fought cancer for the past 3 ½ years. Her battle began when she was had just turned 13. I remember hearing about the diagnosis, in disbelief, back in 2008. What had started as visit to the doctor for a back ache and flu like symptoms had become a call from the oncologist, and so the journey began. As to be expected, there were many ups and downs along the way. At this time last year, she was doing quite well and our community sighed in relief.
As is the case with life in general, and cancer specifically, there are no guarantees. Things turn on a dime.
The loss of a child. It has shaken me to the core. There is no sense to be made, especially when it comes to suffering. Emma has taken this especially hard, trying to sort out in her ten your old mind how and why this could happen. She hopes she was not afraid. She wonders what her final moments were like. I assure her that her family was there, keeping her comfortable at home, loving her. We have had long discussions about life and cherishing every moment of it. Emma’s 70 pound body has wanted to curl up in my lap a lot this weekend, and I am all for it.
Today I wish more than anything that free of pain and anxiety, she finally rests. I wish for her family healing, comfort and peace in the long and painful days to come. I don’t know what else to wish for.
What a reminder to hold it all close. Our friends, our family members, our pets. To not forget to say what needs to be said, to extend that extra bit of kindness. To forgive. To keep our priorities in place. We will all be stricken by loss and grief at some time. It is unavoidable. We rally around those who are suffering and they do the same for us when we cannot get up. It’s all we can do – love one another and be loved.
Rest in Peace, Delaney.