I thought if I did it backwards this time maybe he would live. I’ve never been one to believe that if you ignore a problem it would go away. In fact, people who do that have always managed to get on my last nerve. It’s always been a sorta pet peeve of mine to watch as someone ignores an issue and somehow wonders after how things got worse instead of better. I don’t know if it was fear or the depression I’m still feeling from the last two bouts that caused me to think that maybe if I did it backwards this time it would all end differently.
It didn’t. He still died. And again I didn’t say goodbye. I couldn’t bring myself to face him while death was hovering over. I couldn’t shoe death away for long enough a moment to see him as I knew him and to give him a proper goodbye. So I sat staring from afar in the other room as family and friends talked to him as they always had with just a slight difference in their voices. The sadness and fear was evident as they spoke. Could he hear it. Was he even in his last moments being strong for them as they were failing at being strong for him. I certainly did fail at it. Feeling like a selfish fool trying not to cry as to not bring my pain to an already distraught family. Hoping I wasn’t being disrespectful but unable to decipher whose needs I was putting first. Was it my desire to not bring more pain to them or to myself that kept me away. As I kept telling myself I couldn’t watch another person taken the same way my father was. Was I lying to myself about the reasons I stayed away? How many more friends and family members would I let die without saying a proper fairwell to them?
As I stand here knowing that he has gone I am still in shock. Even though I saw that life was no longer keeping him living. It was something else. It was that determination they get to prevent their loved ones from seeing them go. I recognized it. When hope has already left them and all they have left is the love they feel for others and their desire to stop feeling pain.
I did do it backwards. I thought that maybe denial would prevent death from coming and that life would prevail. I thought even though he was frail and weak that somehow he would rise up and live. I didn’t go through the denial stage until after my father had died. But this time I tried it first. And it still didn’t work. Cancer still won. And I’m left now with shock and anger while still dealing with the depression of my previous loss.
Prevention is my new goal. I must know how, if at all I can prevent this from happening again. Though I know my thoughts and ideas may not be taken into consideration by others that I love who fight this same fight. At least I know I will try to save them from having to watch me die the same way. It’s a horrible thing to experience. I’ve been through it several times now in several different relationships and it’s getting harder rather than easier. Death always sucks. But feeling hopeless against fighting it is more than I can take. If anything can be done to stop this tyrant I want to find out what it is. Many have researched before me and I will use their wisdom and knowledge to grow my own. Though I am weak and sad right now I am also motivated. Motivated to stop this suffering.
Cancer sucks. And I hope to do something about it.
In memory: James David Kessel Sr, Benjamin Kessel, JoAnne Columbus and my recently passed friend Al Hall