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I’m faced with another person I care about dying of cancer. For some reason, I accept death; I try to live one day at a time and appreciate each moment. When I go out in the car I think “I might die on this trip,” even if it’s an ordinary like going to yoga or the grocery store. You just NEVER know.

I’m not a religious person, but spiritual. I came to the realization that my life was finite some long time ago. I believe in a good God, not a vengeful one who will list my sins as soon as I pass out of this life. I expect the next phase of life to reveal things I don’t now understand. I don’t want to die, but I don’t fear death either.

Nevertheless, I do resent it when people I care about are snatched from this life before they want to go. They have plans, people who love them, a reason for being here. My brother-in-law was taken at a point in his life when everything was going well — owning and profiting from a business he loved, a caring wife, children and grandchildren, a lovely home he had definitely earned. Then cancer, almost three years of suffering with grace, dignity and faith, and death just before Easter and the arrival of the Risen Lord. Ironic. Sad. Inexplicable.

My favorite saying is “Life is what happens when you had something else planned”. I know that to be true; but knowing and feeling are two different things and they tug at each other. Sometimes with a vengeance.

We all know we’re dying. A pit-of-my-stomach fear sometimes grabs me unawares, when the immensity of that truth is crystal clear. I will die. Then what. I believe, so I do my best to accept. And trust that God will be waiting for me and tell me WHY.

That’s all. I just had to get that out while I prepare to visit a dear friend (cousin by marriage) and “be there for her”. And her husband. And her sister who is visiting from England. She is in the hand of God now, and hospice care begins in a home she loves, surrounded by nature in the lovely mountains of Virginia. Nature is God’s perfect creation, we are not. But we all live by the same rules: life, death, renewal; a cycle that continues as surely as the waves meet the shore.

Why is that sad and why does it hurt?

 

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