Expiration Date

Death is a part of life. Many of us shy away from even thinking about it and if we are faced with it, we find it a most awkward situation to deal with.

The truth is that it can happen to any one of us at any time; there is no expiration date stamped on the bottom of our foot to make us aware of how much time we have left.

Human nature is to not face what we don't want to deal with until it is smack dab in front of us. There is no looking away then.

When a loved one is facing death, we feel sorrow. Many times our sorrow is out of guilt for not having spent enough time with the person or knowing that we could have done things that we didn't.

Other times the tears are because not only do we feel "cheated" but we feel that the person who is dying had so much more to give.

Truth is, who is anyone to say that? We do not know what our individual mission here is. Sad and tragic as someone's death may be, it was supposed to happen that way.

No matter what your religious or spiritual beliefs are, it is not for us to question what is meant to be. It is what it is.

I believe it is all how you look at it. Death is just the passing from life on earth to a non-Earthly existence.

I think about a very special person who is facing this transition. I wonder if she is scared. I hope she is not. She is a smart, brave, tough, giving soul. She really has touched so many lives and done so in such a humble way.

Her Facebook page and forums where she writes are filling up with tributes, prayers and love for this Southern gem. Her sudden, untreatable illness is stunning to everyone.

Anyone who was close to her knows she was fighting something for the last few months. I, for one, never suspected that it was cancer.

The fact that in this country, a college-educated (or not educated) woman should die of a totally preventable cancer disgusts me. This never should have happened.

Wait a minute. There I go, doing what we humans do; questioning why and what was inevitably meant to be.

My friend and I talked daily; sometimes several times a day. We both had goals we were working towards. I knew that she had the potential to see her goals come full circle. I looked up to her and I strived to work harder because she helped me to believe that I had the potential.

Just a week ago when we spoke on the phone, she already knew what she was facing. At that point, she was full of optimism and of course, humor. She sounded weary but full of fight. There was no fear in her voice.

I didn't say "goodbye" to her...there was no need. No matter what, I know we will "see" each other again. I struggled to stay positive like she wanted me to even though I was terrified at what she was facing. At this time, she thought that treatment was an option. Just a few short days later, she found out it was too late.

In the next few days, her condition rapidly changed. In only a week's time, her family has had to come to grips with the idea that she is dying and dying quickly.

I have spoken to her husband on two occasions since. He is devastated. He (and everyone else) had no idea that she had been walking around with this horrible disease that was eating her alive. He barely has time to overcome the shock of it and now is watching his wife of almost 17 years slip away.

My "message" today is that we all need to remember to not put off anything. Time is short, sometimes shorter than we know.

Don't wait for your loved one to be terminally ill and suffering before you show them the love and support that they secretly have been longing for. If someone means something to you, tell them NOW.

Don't allow fear to run your life. Go out there and experience life. Live every moment to the fullest. Live it like it is your last.

1 comment:

  1. I don't know your friend, but found your post very moving. I am sorry you are losing her and can feel the shock of the sudden events through your words. I will pray for comfort and peace for Dena, her family and friends in the difficult days ahead. My heartfelt condolences to you.