It was not a shocking unexpected loss, but tragic. Cancer was the cause. Suffering was the effect. And it was the suffering that everyone who loved this person can't seem to comes to terms with because the magnitude of it was so great. The experience rattled us all to the core, questioning our beliefs in a higher power, our beliefs in modern medicine, and our beliefs in ourselves and our very purpose on this earth.
It's within our human condition that we expect severe torturous suffering only reserved for the evil on this earth. And when this is not the case, we can't help but constantly try to rationalize it. Why? All day long, it rings in the ear.
As we witnessed the suffering, we also witnessed an example of undeniable strength of character. In the face of death, in the face of suffering, in facing the worst possible last days that anyone could imagine, my uncle did it with grace and courage. So much, that in between bouts of excruciating pain, he insisted that my husband take his business suits that he certainly won't be needing anymore.
One of the last conversations I had with my uncle was on Easter Sunday when he told be the truth about the dogs on the highway. He kidded me about being "too damn sensitive". He's right. I am too sensitive.
My heightened sense of sensitivity has fueled my emotional fires and in the past few weeks I've been completely consumed with feelings of loss, regret, grief, remembering other family members that have gone and that I miss on a daily basis.
My routine, my sense of self, my life has been shattered to the point that my daughter commented on the fact that I was shopping. (I hate shopping). "What's up with that?" She asked me. "I don't know. I can't write. So I'm shopping." was my reply with a shrug of my shoulders.
Sick of shopping, of avoiding myself and my thoughts, I've come back to the keyboard and as I feel a sense of normality returning, I know that what was normal a few months ago is gone. A new normal is emerging, and it's time to face it.
It's not what I want to do but what I have to do.