Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Here we go again...

I hope I never get over this anger I feel about death, especially death that comes as a result of cancer. My friend, Karen Hughes, died this morning. I hope and pray that she was surrounded by her family when she passed from this life into the next.

Last week, I visited with her for a brief few moments. I entered her bedroom quietly, leaned in close over her bed, my forehead touching hers. I gripped her weak and bony hand, and wished her traveling mercies. "Go home, Karen, go on home. There is no need to hang out here, suffering for anyone else's sake. We will look in on Bekah (her college-age daughter) and make sure she is okay. So don't you worry about her or anyone else. I love you. Steve and the kids love you. We pray for your peace, Karen. I pray for your peace. Peace. Peace. Peace." As I said that word to her, over and over, she drifted off to sleep. As I made my way out of her bedroom, I stopped and looked back at her one last time - and I knew it would be the last time. I was right.

As I sit here, crying for myself and for her family because we will miss her so much, I am also glad that she is no longer in pain. No longer feeling the effects of the cancer, the chemotherapy, the various medications, and the sheer, overwhelming exhaustion from having to endure it all.

For Karen Hughes, it is finished. The battle is over. But here we go again. For those of us who are left behind, the tears continue to flow. The battle is not yet over.

I wonder what is left for me to do in this life.
I wonder who I am meant to befriend, to encourage, and to love in this life.
I wonder whose cause I am meant to take up.
Whose burdens I am meant to bear.
Whose laughter and joy I am meant to share.
I wonder what marvels I am yet to see and enjoy.

For me, it is not yet finished. So here I go again.
Back to homeschooling, doing laundry, and making dinner.
Back to loving Steve, the children, and family and friends far and near.
Back to dipping homemade cookies into cups of hot tea.
Back to reading, journaling, blogging, and sending out email and text messages.
Until the very end.

Traveling mercies to each of us.
From here to the end of the journey.
Wherever and whenever we come to the end.
Peace to you.


Lisa from Ohio said...

Thank you for sharing this. It is quite relevant for me, as I have a friend who is at Hospice right now. Cancer sucks! It took my father away 17 years ago. Now it's taking one of my dearest friends. I am more comfortable with death than I used to be, as I work in an ICU. It's not easier, by any means, just different. Certainly my faith has been strengthened in ways that it never could have been otherwise. Anyway...thanks for your timely post. My heart is with you and your friend's family.

Nancy said...

I pray for the God of all Comfort to comfort you, dear Gail.