A week on the ranch (August 17 - 23, 2009)
by, 08-24-2009 at 03:10 AM (1759 Views)
Relatively quiet week, nothing exciting to report, and I'll keep this one short, because I received some bad news tonight, so I'm not really in the right frame of mind to ramble on.
A very good friend of mine called because his mother, who has been fighting colon cancer, was rushed to the hospital today, and the cancer has pretty much taken over her entire body. The doctor gives her a few weeks to a few months to live. She is almost 80 (Her 79th birthday is actually this Wednesday.), but is very active and is the kind of woman I would like to be in forty years. I don't know her well, but we have similar interests and hobbies, so the few times I have had the opportunity to visit with her, I have really enjoyed her company.
Her sudden dying has brought back memories of my father's death, although he was much younger than she (died at 52) and it was many years ago. My father died within a few months of being diagnosed with cancer, and went through months of misdiagnosis before it was realized, too late to help, that the cancer had made its way through his whole body. I was 22 years old when I lost him.
Most of the time, I don't really think about my lack of belief in any kind of supernatural deity or afterlife. But at times like these, I sometimes envy those who believe there is something after death. It is a comforting thought, and a much more pleasant one than to believe that we die and life ends and nothing else. But we all have our beliefs (or lack thereof) and we live our lives according to them. I miss my father terribly and probably always will, until my own death, and my grief is made more terrible because I know that he is not "waiting" for me in some incorporeal form, and that he is truly gone. Now my friend is losing his mother, a very nice woman, and I feel for both of them. I know what he will go through, waiting for her to die, and I can only imagine what she will go through, in the process of dying.
My friend also believes there is no god and no afterlife. So as I try to think of something comforting to say to him, all I can say over and over is, "I'm sorry." It is a weak and powerless phrase, but it is, at least, an honest one, and I've probably said it twenty times to him tonight.