My aunt is dying.
She told my father early last week that she has eight weeks to live. She hasn’t been able to keep anything down since Father’s Day. They think the cancer has progressed enough that it may have blocked her intestines. It’s only a matter of time until she starves to death, that is, if the cancer doesn’t finish her off first.
Sorry to be so graphic and blunt, but that’s what cancer is. It doesn’t fuck around. It’s ugly, and it’s brutal.
I failed to mention that my aunt is in her mid-forties. Not old by any stretch. She’ll leave behind a husband and three really great kids (I say kids, but the youngest is finishing high school.) She won’t live to see her kids graduate college, she won’t get to retire and grow old with her husband, she won’t see her kids marry, she’ll never be a grandmother… she would have been an awesome grandmother.
Sharon, in all facets, is probably THE nicest person in my entire extended family on my Dad’s side. It’s a big side too. 5 aunts and uncles, 13 cousins, a zillion kids. I think you could pretty much get a responses across the board that she was the nicest person in our family. Always had a kind word to say, always remembered your birthday (and I mean EVERYONE’S birthday’s) and was always upbeat. She was even smiling and upbeat through her initial cancer treatments.
This just simply shouldn’t happen, but it does. Tragic things like this affect families everywhere every day. It is just the not-so-subtle exclamation point on the saying “Life is too short!” You need to work a little less, pay a little more attention to your family. Tell the people you love that you DO love them. Let them know. Life IS too short, and it’s too fucking random.
Only the good die young? That’s bullshit. There is no rhyme or reason or grand scheme. Human beings are fragile. They have accidents, they get hurt, they get sick, they die. “Only the good die young” is just a cop-out for people that have no way else to explain why bad things can happen to good people. I don’t accept it.
I initially wrote a pretty anti-god and organized religion diatribe here too, but I realize that I may alienate people that read this blog, and that I call friend. So I’ll omit that, and simply state that what little faith I may have had is gone. No reasonable deity would have done this. I’m not going to argue this point with anyone, because it serves no purpose. I won’t change your mind, and you won’t change mine, it’s as simple as that.
I’ve turned off comments because I don’t want sympathy, and I don’t want attempts to renew my faith. That’s not why I posted this. I posted this because I needed to get it out. It’s been tearing me up inside, and posting here helps me feel better. It helps me cope. I’ve cried repeatedly over this, and I’ve lost it while talking to my Dad. He’s losing a little sister, and the man that’s always showed no emotion has crumbled on the phone with me. It’s the most heartbreaking thing I’ve ever been a part of. And I cannot imagine how the kids and husband are feeling. If I’m this bad, their grief is at a level that I cannot possibly fathom.
The kids are the legacy Sharon leaves behind. And it’s a good one. One son, two daughters. And each one of them are smart, polite, caring, hard-working, wonderful human beings. So even though Sharon will soon be gone, she will live on for a long long time and the world is definitely a better place for it.
Go hug the people you care about. Don’t wait.