Today I went to a luncheon that was started by a family that lost their son/brother to the ravages of addiction.
As I listened to the mother and sisters make impassioned pleas for support, I thought about how I would feel if I lost my son… not just to addiction, but to anything. Considering that I was close enough to that when he was a new born, I felt the mothers anguish. Then as I thought about how the young man was only in his mid twenties, I wondered how that must feel if it happened now or ten years from now, or even twenty years from now… painful is what I could answer.
Following that, I began to consider what my parents must have felt when I called to give them my news.
I started to feel a little sick to my stomach. Just in anguish.
I thought about my mothers gasp when I called her, and my fathers silence when I called him. I noticed them, but only slightly… I was so wrapped up in my own extremely feeble attempts to try and manage the news.
To call them and share the news that “I have cancer” was hard. And to now be able to put myself on their imaginary end of the phone line was pretty horrifying…
What would I do if Squink called me with such news… not a question… the mere thought brings me stomach pain, a heavy heart, my breath stuck in my throat.
Our children are not supposed to die, they are not supposed to get seriously ill, to suffer.
Life is pretty ridiculous, and I say that because in spite of everything, it all results in death, and we humans become so attached to each other, that the death part becomes un-natural to us in a way.
And I am not trying to be-little it, I am more trying to wrap my head around it.
People we love get sick (be it cancer, addiction, heart disease, depression, leprosy…) and they die… and we have to deal with the mortality of the ones we love… and the pressure of things when it is your children who are going through the process, well it must be intense and I don’t think it ever gets any easier.
When we were asked if we wanted Squink to be given last rights, that was a tough moment. We understood that he was not a healthy baby, that he could die…. THAT was intense. Schatzy and I went home and prayed, we felt helpless and when that happens you turn those feelings over, they become outside of self.
So that is all I can say, getting that kind of news must be devastating, as devastating as it is to get and be aware of the news about yourself, but somehow I just know that no matter what his age, I would take the news from him far harder than I think I might if the news were about myself… and neither would be easy.