On April 29, 2003, my husband and I lost a very good friend of ours. His name was Dan. He was 30 years old, had been married less than one year, and had an aggressive and deadly form of cancer called Ewing's Sarcoma. Diagnosed at age 28, he lived for less than 2 more years. We struggled with him as he would get good news, and then bad news, as he hurriedly married his sweetheart for fear he would die before they had a chance to be husband and wife, and then we got the phone call from him that he would probably die within the week. We prayed, we cried, we yelled about the unfairness of it all. We traveled to his hospital in Southern California (we lived in Northern California at the time), hoping we'd make it in time to give him one last hug. We did, and it was incredibly difficult to leave his hospital room knowing we'd never see him again.
|Dan on his wedding day -May 3, 2002|
I think about him all the time. I miss his goofy laugh and his funny stories. I miss his bear hugs (he was 6 foot 5). I miss his friendship and his beautiful heart. I miss being pissed off at him when he drank too much and turned into a teenager again. There aren't a lot of people that come into your life who you know will be there into old age, and when those people are taken so soon it's gut wrenching.
But he's not the only person I've lost in my life. As I look back, it seems like every year, or close to it, someone who I love dies. Sometimes it's expected and a part of the circle of life, like when my grandparents passed away, but sometimes it's sudden and painful and the worst thing in the world, like when my sister suddenly died.
And in all honesty, I think I've had more than my fair share of loss. In my life, I lost a childhood friend at age 6 (to cancer, and I remember it VIVIDLY), a high school friend our senior year (car accident), 3 grandparents (my other grandparent died before I was born), my great grandma, my friend Dan, several uncles, neighbors, and Greg has lost 2 of his grandparents and a teenage cousin since I met him. Our neighborhood has suffered terrible loss as well, with 2 children and young mom dying in recent years. Like I said, we can't go much longer than a year without another loss happening.
I'm just SAD.
Is this more than the normal person? I'm only 39 years old. There will be a lot more loss in the coming years. I'm probably crazy for dwelling on it, but on a day like today it's very difficult to get out of that rut.