The Bell’s Toll

My family’s never going to be the same. I know that sentiment well enough, however it doesnae seem to matter. I guess I’m bitter right now as I write this. It’s not unexpected. Some months ago, my family got bad news. What I’ve been able to read since then about essentially self care has proffered up keeping a journal. So, this series (Life’s Inevitability) is me working through this, the best I am able.
Content Warning: terminal illness, death of loved ones. (I will add more as I am made aware they’re needed)


Helen’s got cancer.

There’s not many that know.

I wasn’t there when they received the news. I don’t know that my being there may have been helpful in the moment. I’ll know eventually. At least I hope that one day I will. We may have time to talk about whether it would have made a difference for me to be there at the moment, or if it was better that I was there that night when they told me.

Death and I have crossed paths, numerous times. Enough that I don’t loathe them, almost like we’re on a path to being old friends. I don’t think I ever loathed them though, not really. I know I didn’t want to know them more the first time our paths crossed. And that I didn’t want our paths to cross again, but settled for not wanting to know their gait for a very long time. A natural want. One that I know is still natural but in the sum of time, a fleeting one. And now I know that we’ll have another crossing Death and I. But I don’t hold that against Death.

I think by the next time our paths crossed, even if it was tangentially, I understood. I understood that the first few times it was born more out of the unnaturalness of it all; lives that were cut short rather than having had the time to live.

I guess Death is just as susceptible to time’s whims as anyone else.

I’ve read that it is suggested to keep a journal. Since Helen’s wishes about who knows is particular and largely for their emotional bandwidth I already know I will need something. I don’t ever want to be a bottle so bursting I nearly lose my entirety again. And I want a place where I can be honest about how I feel, process it as healthily as I am able.

Helen’s got cancer.
It’s terminal.
It’ll be what takes them from their loves ones.

I don’t really understand how the comfort (that comes from knowing they are relieved with the promise of ‘Your wishes, ALL of them, will be respected. End of.’) pairs well with the agony (of a loss of a deeply loved one). I do know if I want to cry, it needs to be alone. Without witnesses. Because it’s all I can handle right now. I remember what that feels like; how exhausting answering a ‘Are you OK?’ can be when you want to be left alone. And I am still currently struggling with taking a moment to realize the question is often born from compassion and kindness – I’ve had poor prior experiences with people not acknowledging how they think I should feel/grieve can potentially be vastly different from how I do.

Regardless.
Fuck Cancer.

Month 01, Day 01, Year of Diagnosis


The entries that follow in this series were written in a chronological order, but the date reflected here on the Wordery, reflects when I hit publish. They do not reflect real time.