Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Hearts, Holes, and Spots

Over the weekend, another woman I knew (over twitter) passed away from breast cancer. She was 34 years old and had a tough form of breast cancer called inflammatory breast cancer.

Honestly, I didn't know Seporah that well. I wish I had time to get to know her better, though. We had several friends in common. I feel in my heart that with more time, she would have quickly moved from acquaintance to friend.

Despite not knowing her very well, my heart still hurts to hear of her passing. And my heart hurts knowing that I have friends who are heartbroken over her death - their lives will never be the same. All the people who are now walking around with a hole in their heart, wondering how, if ever, it will mend.

And I think of all the people I have lost, who have left holes in my heart. The list continues to grow.

And I think about how just barely a month ago I was writing about grief as a side effect to cancer.

And I think about how the other night a friend asked me some questions about chemo, as they prepare for her father to get it (along with radiation).

And I think about how we learned about Lauren Hill passing away this weekend as well.

And I think about the several members in husband's and my family who have cancer right now.

And I think about a friend who has a child with brain cancer. And a friend whose husband has brain cancer.

And the thoughts they keep going. And going.

Cancer is such a bastard, isn't it?

Cancer doesn't care about your age, who loves you, who you love.

Cancer doesn't care about what type of person you are.

Cancer has no feelings, no emotions. 

Cancer just is. And it just comes. And it just destroys lives.

Cancer makes us hate it. Except cancer isn't something you can yell at, or scream at, or throw things at. You can't punch when you feel all sorts of hatred towards it inside.

Cancer can't apologize for what it's done. There will be no knock-down-all-out-fights that turn into tears and apologies and hugs and promises to do better next time.

Because cancer just is.

That, my friends, might be the most frustrating thing about cancer.

You can't bomb it, or punish it. You can't bargain with it or beg it.

And yet, there it is, staring you in the face. Turning lives upside down. Taking our loved ones and our friends from us. Stealing our health away. Taking our time. And our money. And our security.

I hate cancer. I hate it so much I want to punch it.

But you can't punch cancer.

It leaves these holes in our hearts. We learn to live with them though, to walk with them. We learn to keep loving even with them there. No one can come in and fill those holes, but our hearts are amazing. And, at least in my experience, our hearts expand, and room is found between the holes, with new friends, new loves, new moments.

These holes, they don't ever heal, not for me anyway. They change over time though. But those holes they stay with me, because the people I care about, even if they aren't physically with me anymore, they are with me.

I suppose instead of saying holes, I should say there are spots in my heart. Holes mean absence. I don't have absence. I have memories and love and laughter and hugs. These spots keep all of that alive inside of me.

I don't know if it's the same for others. I hope that it is though. That through our grief and our pain and our tears, we can go back to the spots in our heart and remember the moments we shared with our loved ones.

I know many people are hurting right now. Just from my own friends - I hear the stories, see the sadness in their eyes, feel their pain when we talk. I know there are spots on our hearts that sometimes feel too big to allow anything else in. I know this because I've felt it.

And I just want you to know that I wish with all my might I could just reach out, scoop you up, give you the biggest, longest hug ever, give you all the love in the world, just pour that love straight from my heart into yours.

I can't do that literally, but I want you to know that I'm doing metaphorically. And I've got some good people in my corner who are doing the same for me. Filling my heart up, so I can fill up yours.

This isn't the post I sat down to write, but it is the post that came out of me, so I'm going to leave it. And if you need me to send a little extra love or prayers or good thoughts your way, please leave a comment so I can do that.


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