My mom will hate this post.

I went to a visitation last night.  Friends lost a grandma.  I barely made it out the door to go.  I am thankful I went – God forbid I ever get to a place where my feelings trump that of a grieving family.  But it was hard.  It was hard because I am really, really ill-prepared to deal with “reality”.  I came home last night to a good husband, to talk about reality…

I can’t handle it.  That is what I say to Brad, over and over.  And last night he said “What is IT?”  You can’t keep running from this thing you won’t name… IT.

It is the fact that mom just might not get better.  It’s been almost two months since her diagnosis – you would think the obvious thing to have dealt with is the fact that stage three cancer doesn’t always get healed.  But no.  Haven’t touched that thought yet.  Sure – it nags at the back of my head, but in the long dark shelves of my mind, I break down my thoughts, and put them in little boxes.  And some days I open a box.  Some days two.  The day mom came home from Florida, I opened the box that read “Mom is sick.”  Sick is different than cancer. Cancer is something you have. Sick is something you are.  Those are different thoughts. So, on the shelf, in the very back corner, sits a little box marked death.  And like a kid with an already wrapped present, sometimes I pull at the corner of the box a little, maybe give it a little shake… and tuck it back on the shelf.  But Brad pushed last night, and the box toppled into my lap.

“Why won’t you look at that box Nic?  Why is that the “IT”?”

“Because Mom can’t die.”

“And why can’t she?”

“Because I still need her.”


As though, as though NEEDING something badly enough means you get to keep it.  Not that people are things to keep – you know what I mean though, right?  So he gently, gently prods and says “but she might not make it through this Nic.”  And every time he says it, I emphatically shake my head no….

I am so comfortable with denial.  I know death is a reality.  I’ve talked at Bible study before about the fact that I actually think about death every day.  Not in an uncomfortable way either.  I’m okay with death.  Death is the door to eternity – and that for a believer is a good thing.  I don’t fear my death.  I can’t even say I fear my mom’s.  The truth is – we all go someday.  We are all walking such a little little journey on this earth.  We would be in a sad place if we all allowed our fears of loss to immobilize us.  But the temptation is there, a little bit.  It’s just that the idea that death is something I have to maybe accept as part of my daily reality is… well… not something I want to think about.  Not REALLY.

I have good people in my life.  People where I say “Brad thinks I should look in this box called death” and they say “Hey, watch this video while you’re at it.  It’ll make you cry.”  Because they know.  They know that what I need today is to cry about things that up until now I have shelved as too-hard-to-deal-with….



3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Rey Reynoso
    Apr 07, 2011 @ 06:40:31

    Powerful and genuine. I have no words. I refuse to watch the video because I’m a little bit afraid.


  2. Nicole
    Apr 07, 2011 @ 07:33:05

    Chicken. It’s so good.


  3. Sam
    Apr 11, 2011 @ 10:07:59

    What caught me most in this whole post was the line “death is something I have to maybe accept”. I think that “accept” is not the right word because to accept something is to receive it willingly; to endure without protest; to give approval to. A small meaning of the word accept is “to recognize as true” and although we all recognize that death is truly a part of our lives, I do not know any person who will willing accept the death of a loved one; endure it without protest; or give approval it. I think (as strange as this will sounds) that what we each must do is make an affirmation of death at each occurrence that we encounter. A self-declaration of the truth of the situation.
    I am also amazed by your ability to overlook the incredible strength you have to deal with the boxes hiding in the corners. ♥


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