Loss and Conversation

My brother-in-law died last Wednesday.  Jerry and I flew to Colorado just to be with his sister and the rest of the family, although we’ll fly back again in ten days for the memorial service.

The problem with sitting around and yakking with friends and family after a death is that oddly enough, people talk about death.  The conversation always tends to drift around to it.  Especially when the deceased became deceased because of the big C, everyone knows someone who had, or is currently struggling with, cancer.  The fact that I have cancer is either forgotten in the larger arena of my brother-in-law’s death, or it’s somehow believed that because I have cancer I’m interested in everybody else’s cancer.

“She was in remission but…not any longer.”

“Chemo is strange stuff.  It works for some people, and it doesn’t work for others.”

“He had colon cancer, then lung cancer, then colon cancer again, and then the pills stopped working.”

In my life BC (before cancer), I had the hide of a rhinoceros.  When friends died in a helicopter crash, I climbed back into our own ship a few days later and soared off with every confidence that I was safe. During this confusing and troubling episode in my life, though, the stories burrow a tiny earwig of fear into my innards.  Will I enjoy only a brief remission?  Will the chemo work?  Will the pills work?  What pills?

I don’t want to be “that” person.  The one around whom everyone tiptoes and avoids certain subjects.  I just want to not think about cancer anymore.  I don’t want to worry about it, describe it, talk about it, or let it bug me.  Anymore.

So how ’bout them Broncos?

“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7


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