Many perks come my way as a person living with a terminal diagnosis, and one of the greatest is getting to know and love others who are also walking this path in their ways. We laugh together, share resources and experience, talk about dying and what we know and don’t know, piss and moan together at times, and then laugh again at the insane joy of just being alive. Together. So many things we don’t have to explain to each other, we just know. Because, contrary to what people insist on telling me, living with a terminal diagnosis is NOT THE SAME as knowing that we all are going to die. It’s a different realm. And one that I sincerely hope you all never have to enter.
When my best cancer buddy Marcia S died on Thursday, May 18th, I numbed out and am still mostly numb. Her cancer voraciously ate her alive, and wasn’t gracious about it at all. She lived in pain for too long. Her grandson asked her if she was dying and she said yes. He wanted to know when, and she didn’t know. “Summer would be nice” he said, beaming in love, a little guy. Somewhere in my own little brain, what’s left of it, I had thought she would recover somewhat and live through the year. I thought we would have more time, another visit. Marcia knew best what she needed.
At her memorial, people talked about her nobility, her courage, her gifts to all of us, her outrageous sense of humor and fun. Marcia was an ordained minister, and a hospice chaplain. She knew this territory from many perspectives. She taught me to have more fun. So I will practice, in her honor. What a gift!
Dear Marcia, please know that I love you dearly, even though we didn’t have much time together. I will continue to stumble along, and meanwhile trust that you are finding your new way. Maybe you found the Pure Lands! I hope so. I miss you sorely.
And if prayers help over there, beyond the beyond, I shall send them to you once my heart opens up and pours out again.