Thursday, March 15, 2007

Spring Break '07- This Year, No Beach, No Banana Daquiris

I swear to you I've written at least 15 blogs in the last few days, and have erased every one of them. My committment to you, right now, is to publish this blog no matter how ugly or inappropriate or whatever it is.

Spring break this year started with an art memorial service for Lia. There were 8 of us there to honor Lia and to have our own memorial for her since we weren't informed of the formal one till days after it was too late. I wish I had a picture of Lia to post here, but I don't. I wish that you could see her, though. It would add so much to what you read about her. Anyway, there was that on Saturday last, and it sort of "set the tone" for the whole break. I had a pretty emotional reaction to it, especially for someone who doesn't have emotional responses in public. Andrea started the memorial by just telling us that anything was allowed- tears, words, laughter, hugs, silence. I started to cry almost immediately, and cried much of the time I was there. The group talked about Lia, then about the last 2 years, as 5 of our group of 25 have slowly melted away from us. Then we talked about our fears- about making more friends at Gilda's club, only to watch them die, too. Only to force us to face our mortality.

I guess I thought I was handling the whole thing better than I have been, but it became clear that day that I have barely handled it at all. I don't know what I've been doing, but I don't think I've been facing the pain. It has taken me all week to essentially come to grips with what is going on with me and what I am feeling. And what I am feeling is this: fear. Fear is a pretty foreign feeling to me- I've made my life out of stupid risks taken and living off the adrenaline from them. I'm the person that wiser people call wreckless and some call stupid, and am also the one that's pretty calm in most scary situations. A response from childhood or other hood, I guess- instant crisis management.
Up until a few weeks ago, if you asked me what I'm scared of, I would've said, "Disappointing my loved ones. But besides that, very little." Pain doesn't really scare me- physical, at least. I'm not scared of suffering, because I know for the most part that I can handle it. And I've learned much from losing things I loved and putting my life together afterward- to the point of feeling confident from such endeavors.
But things are different now. For one thing, I understand what a fear of death is. For me, it is attached to ego, as I am not so afraid of missing things as I am of the way life goes on without stopping to see that you are no longer a part of it. I assume this is nothing but a fear of essentially being forgotten. Or inconsequential. Of dying, and then, in essence, disappearing.
I also understand, I guess, the fragility of life now somehow, too. How it is here in our grasp, but, at the same time, it is not. It is mostly just beyond our grasp, because it is not something we can hold and protect, but merely something we are allowed to touch intermittenly and love and hopefully grasp and fully appreciate. And, after our time is up, it is gone from our sight.
That's enough to ponder for years, so I'll stop there. That's what's going on with me. I'm trying to use that, to understand what I've been taught from this, to make these days that are only mine a gift to myself. It is not always easy being so mindful, but it is important and a blessing, even when it hurts like it does today.



Anonymous said...

So these feelings - to a very strong extent are the feelings that I had when you called me that first day that you found out - I don't even use the word Cancer when discussing your health with you - I am the QUEEN of denial and that day I knew it was going to slap me in the face - I'd like to think that I came out there (to Dallas) to help you - to be there for you - But I did it mostly for me - Selfishly not wanting to consider the fact that there was nothing that I could do for you to keep you in my life.

I am sorry that you are losing your friends. I think that you can believe me when I say that I feel hurt reading these blogs because I can feel your hurt - sounds cheesy but you know that I mean it.

I guess what I am trying to say is that it sucks - It sucks something real bad - and each time it might suck a little more than the last - and if anyone - ANYONE - tried to say what I am going to say to you right now - if I had to go through losing you - I would not only give them the worst beating of their life but they would be wishing they hadn't ever met me - \
(its wierd that even though I feel like that I still want to say this to you, maybe because you are in Texas and me in Cali )

I don't know Lia, I didn't know any of the other 5 in your group - I don't know any of the others - But you have, had , and still do have this time to make a difference in each others lives -

I know what a difference you make in my life, counting you as my bf = and the impact that you have in person, via internet - all of it is a blessing to those of us lucky enough to know you -

And you got something from each of the people whom you have met on this dirty 0 unfair journey 0

And - yes it hurts - but - ... I don't know - All I can say is that I love you Lori. and I miss you soooooo Much. Mandy

Peter said...

Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts.
These are not simple issues to deal with, and I think you are doing wonderfully.
Don't feel that you have to live up to some theoretical high standard - Many people have battled with this in past, and I think few have reached the level that you have.
I'm glad that we live in the internet age, and that I have been able to meet you online.

Kim (AL) said...

I had to go to the school where I taught to leave lesson plans on the morning that my mom passed away, because the rest of the world doesn't stop in your moments of crisis. I remember being stunned by the fact that the traffic lights still changed, people went on in their cars, and life was normal. I screamed to no one, "don't you people realize that my mother is dead." But the traffic lights kept changing, people kept going by in their cars and I had to get to work and leave lesson plans for my kids. It was the strangest thing. Because the rest of the world doesn't stop.
I truly believe that our obligation is to squeeze every second of happiness out of everyday. Those of us who have stared our mortality in the face know this. I really think it makes us luckier than most. Your friends who have passed knew this too, I suspect.
My grandma told me once that grief is kind. Tears honor the loss for a time and then only happy memories are left behind.
Love to you, Sweet Lori.
I am holding you in my heart.


I'm Too Young For This!