I sit here at my computer, in the early morning, thinking about the events of the last week. The loss of three iconic figures to cancer only highlights the loss I am feeling in my life for a very close friend – all due to cancer.
I took a step back from my usual social media activities just for a bit to try to make sense of it all, and I realized that there really is no sense of it all. Cancer strikes without warning and hits indiscriminately. Some are given time to battle, and some win – some don’t. Others have no time to battle as it has already silently raged within the body leaving no room for possibilities of defeating this enemy of life.
I have a story to tell about my friend. It is a story that is personal, but I feel I need to share it as part of my healing process. As I write this, I can hear her in the background saying, “You go, Goddess Girl!” And she laughs her deep belly laugh with her eyes that shine so bright with love and kindness.
She has been a source of strength to me and has been a quiet warrior in my own personal battles through the last ten years. She and I met through our spiritual practices, and the bond was already there. As Buddhists, we recognized that we were connected through past lives, and we were grateful to be able to share this one as well. As fellow Goddesses, we drummed our stories weaving the threads even tighter.
She went through her own personal battles, and I was there with her during them all. Her painful divorce, her battle with her son, her heart surgery recovery, and her decision to marry again a few short years ago. Neither of us ever had to call the other when something was pounding down our doorstep. We would just know.
A year ago, she began having chest pain. She had gone through a double bypass surgery about five years ago, so immediately the doctors jumped on that possibility. But everything was normal. She continued to complain of chest pain, but this was different. It felt muscular and deep, but the physicians only saw a woman who was more than likely having muscular pain from the scar tissue. She went through physical therapy and only worsened.
Finally two weeks ago, her husband of four years, stepped in and took her to one more new specialist. He “humored” her and ran a series of tests that included an MRI and a CT Scan with contrasts. And there it was! Her chest was filled with tumors that extended from the sternum, to the throat, to her shoulders, and reaching her brain. Advanced stage with no treatments to even try to fight it off. She was give two months at best, but more than likely only a few short weeks.
Her husband wanted to remain in LA with this physician, but she, being the strong warrior she is, has decided to go to her precious cabin in the woods to make her transition. It was her dream to retire there in a couple of years. She and her husband had gutted the existing cabin and made it completely hers – a Boho gypsy cabin in the mountains surrounded by woods and wildlife with a labyrinth dedicated to the Goddess and a zen garden dedicated to the Buddha..
Last night, on her way to her cabin, she made a weekend stop to say goodby to her son and grandchildren. I sat with her on her bed. We drummed and chanted to her next life. We drummed and chanted to this amazing life she had enjoyed so much. She cried and I held her. I cried and she held me.
But we refused to say goodbye. I know we’ll see each other again in the next life. And quite frankly, how do you say goodbye to a spirit that is so free and so wild.
So, I sit here after a night of raging tears. I am angry that this monster is hitting so many people. I am angry that we continue to pour chemicals into our environment and our bodies giving this monster life to breath. And I am angry that I am losing such a vital part of my life to this monster.
Yes, I know all of the phrases. But for now, I grieve and mourn my friend. She does not want a funeral or a memorial. In fact, she wants no one to come to her cabin. She wants to go alone with just she and her husband.
I will not see her again in this life. I will keep a part of her with me. I will keep the gift of her love and deep sisterhood she gave me. She will always be there in my heart. But, dammit, I sure will miss her hugs.
~CWylde (c) 2016