January 11, 2010

The worst kind of news

We found out yesterday that the grandmother of one of daughter's best friends is basically dying of cancer. It's a very unexpected diagnosis and comes very quickly after his grandmother initially falling ill. My daughter's friend and his mother live with his grandparents, so my daughter knows her well enough from having been over at his house for play dates and sleep overs. It's a sad state of affairs, and they've given her between two weeks to a month. This particular news comes right on the heels of my having learned last week that one of the Whine Sisters (who you might remember from one of my podcasts a few episodes back) died unexpectedly of what's believed to be a heart attack. When I returned home last Saturday from vacation, there was an email waiting from Julia London telling me that Kathleen Givens had died the night before. According to the email, she was sitting next to her husband, made a strange sound, and when he looked at her, she was out and they were never able to revive her. Just like that, in the blink of an eye, she was gone. And while I'd never met Kathleen, I considered her a friend from the years of back and forth I shared with her through the Whine Sisters blog and email. I'm sad about it and feel incredibly torn for her family. How do you cope with a loss that sudden and instantaneous? About a month before all this, I learned on Facebook that an old college friend of mine had passed away over the summer from leukemia. He'd battled it before, but it returned and claimed him in the end. And even though he'd already been gone a few months when I read the news, it still felt like a punch to the gut. He was only about a year older than I am. This is the first time in my life that I've experienced such a sudden round of death among people in my consciousness and it's scary to me. Maybe I've just finally reached an age where I can expect to say goodbye to people more often than I say hello. I feel like I've been seeing too many people leave regardless of death and it hurts my heart. All I know is that it sucks and I'm not ready to be in that stage of life no how, no way.

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