The news that chemotherapy is now ineffective, that cancer has spread, and that my aunt is on the downward slope.
Cancer is the scariest thing I can ever imagine facing. Everything about this news frightens me, down into places that I didn't even know could be scared. Scared that my aunt is alone, scared the she's not a believer, scared that my mother could get cancer someday, scared that I could.
When you get news like this it's uncomfortable. Like a weight has descended onto your chest that makes breathing difficult. You know that you've got to get the weight off but you know this is a heavy weight to move. How can I fit this weight into my everyday life, because I'm not strong enough to move it?
And part of me hates that right now I'm also thinking about myself: how I'm bad with hospitals and with silence and with finding the right words to say. I'm bad at comforting and I'm bad with tears.
This whole death and dying thing is really quite awkward, wouldn't you agree?
I wish I had all the time in the world; I would go to Ohio and sit with my aunt and talk and keep her company and make her smile and maybe even laugh and I would take her shopping and feed her ice cream.
Because more than I dread the awkwardness, I dread being alone. And I dread loneliness not just for myself but for those that I love. Being alone is one of the most hollow feelings on the planet, and being sick is also hollow so that makes for a lot of emptiness.
And as a Christian I've heard that we should not fear death and that we should celebrate a person's life when they die. But what if I'm afraid of death both for her and for everyone else and what can I celebrate knowing that if she goes in her present state she will go not knowing the Lord?
What is there to celebrate with that? Nothing.