Today, I attended one of my dearest friend’s husband’s Celebration of Life. He passed away, recently, after a long battle with cancer. He leaves behind two teenage children, a wife, a ton of extended family and so many others. While driving there, I couldn’t help but feel really angry. These kids and this amazing woman are left without someone they love so very much. He’s just gone. Nothing will ever replace him or the key role he played in their family; nothing. I wondered why life can be so incredibly unfair. Why does this happen?
I’ve known my friend for years. With the exception of a brief remission, her husband fought cancer. If you met her, you wouldn’t have known she was a part of this agonizing battle for so many years. She lives her life with such grace and compassion for others. I’m not exaggerating when I say she is one of the nicest people I have ever met. She might actually BE the nicest. She bends over backwards for her kids, her family, her friends and even people she doesn’t really know. She is literally a rock of a person, so strong and capable, even during the worst of times.
She has been such a support to me since we became concerned about Blake. I mean, her husband is gravely ill and she is coming to me and asking how I’m doing, how Blake’s doing. She’s asking what she can do for me. We’ve had conversations that others, not facing what we have been, would never understand – conversations which would be difficult to have with other people. I didn’t realize it at the time, but walking with her through some of her tough times has taught me a great deal. The things I never thought I would use, and here I am, using them. She’s lived the life that we are now; knowing someone she loves so very much has to leave. She gets it. Through it all, she has modeled all the things I hope to be: strong, caring, compassionate and loving, in all that I do. My heart is broken for her and I’m still very angry. Not like before Blake, though. It’s deeper, with an understanding.
I came home, told Jeff all about the wonderful (and funny) stories I heard about such a great man. The crying I did all the way home because it just isn’t fair. I told him about the tightest hug that I gave my friend, the fact that I love her so dearly and want to sweep her up and take away her pain. Then I danced with Blake and Kenley and gave them each a kiss for her, like she always tells me to.