Sometimes it seems like too much.
I got word today that a friend’s wife passed away in the wee hours yesterday morning. I didn’t know her. Not at all. I hardly know him. Just a friend, someone I’ve worked with a couple of times, someone I know. But I can’t shake it. And I hate cancer. I know we all die. We all will die. That’s the price of entry. That’s the way it goes. But I don’t have to like it. I hate the cancer that took my father. I hate the cancer that takes my friends’ loved ones and I hate the cancer that put my life on its beam ends for the past 7 months.
My mother’s cousin has ovarian cancer. She writes to me every so often and talks about cooking and trying to get out of bed and the color of the wallpaper in her room. She’s not doing well.
I never expected life to be fair. I don’t even know what that means. I don’t know what a fair life would look like. Pretty boring I bet.
I talked with a friend today. I mentioned I’ll take my last treatment in a week. He wiped his hand across his brow. “Whew,” he said and smiled. He didn’t say “Thank God THAT’S over!” but he might as well have. And I wanted to shout “It will NEVER be over!” but I didn’t. I knew he wouldn’t understand what I meant.
I don’t really understand what I meant.
Maybe I’m just more sensitive now than I used to be. Maybe this is why victims of violent crimes get recused from jury duty at a murder trial. Your perspective changes when you’ve touched something, lived with it, sat in the dark and stared in its cold yellow eyes and smelled its rank breath. You lose objectivity. You use words like “hate” and “despise” and “never”. You’re different.
Somewhere in this city, a friend is waiting to put his beloved wife in the ground.
It’s too much sometimes. Too much.