Bereaved

I’ve been silent. Unable to get the crumbs to cohere into a ball that might yield a shell.

What has silenced me: Chemical injury to my normally serotonin-producing abdomen. Oncologist-powered words carrying grave threat. Bereavement.

The word bereavement comes from Old English bereaflan, meaning “to deprive of, take away, seize, rob.’ It happens to everyone, but when you’re in it, you feel alone.

How I miss you, my once-strong body and mind. How I miss you, my vision of a happy pain-free future.

How I miss you, Jo. And you, dear friends, all of you I haven’t been able to see all these weeks lying around waiting to feel better.

Vulnerability is strength, they say. We must be a pretty strong little tribe around here now then. It’s been a shivery wind. Tonight, I stood calmly near a gorgeous old vase I own, and told my husband I could easily fling it through the TV screen and not bat an eye. I could’ve. Clonazepam to the rescue.

But the scan news I’ve been waiting on is good, or at least not terrible. I’m living with my cancer. It’s no worse than it’s been for the past two years, for all my oncologists terrifying words last week. So now, to focus on patience. I’m a terrible patient. The thing to remember is that when you want something very badly, you need to be willing to wait. The other night I read about reindeer moss. It can survive almost anything the world throws at it. Helen Macdonald, in H is for Hawk, says it is ”patience made manifest”. You can freeze it, dry it, it won’t die. It goes dormant and waits for things to improve. I may need to get my hands on some.

The other night, I reached out to scratch my husband’s back, and felt an sudden warm wash of light and music, and for a moment, just from the touch, I felt as though I’d become the grand piano and the light. And another time, he kissed me, and I became, for a split second, an exquisite, strong bolt of pure light and love.

Little trips of hope and life?

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12 thoughts on “Bereaved

  1. Brava Connie! You not merely broke the silence (reason enough for rejoicing), but you did
    so with insight that is instructive and inspirational for your friends. Cheers to both of you!

  2. Beautifully stated Ike & Millie!

    Praying for more of those ‘ trips of hope and life”.

    Not knowing what is means to be caught in the tension between possibility and improbability, I can only imagine how one would naturally ricochet from despair & rage to the tinkling & anticipation of joy again . .

    It takes tremendous courage, psychic and physical energy – from you and your partner – and patience . . . to forge on-

    And, it takes a spirit of love for your readers, your friends and all those you hold close in your heart, to rally and harness your creative muse ,and break the silence to share –
    It means a lot.
    Because we care and are journeying with you.
    We celebrate the good report!

    And, we continue to ‘hover’ with you in spirit, darling Connie -always placing you tenderly into the healing hands of our Lord..
    lovingly ,Veronica (&Josh)

  3. Oh my Connie, my friend who is half of my physical size and thrice my emotional and patient self. You, your family, your Jeff, You have more gumption and strength than most of the folk I know. I have been holding my breath, waiting until you emerged again – showing all of us again your guts, your ‘gumption’. Thinking of you daily, not sure when is a good time to call or visit. Knowing your sheer determination and admiring your loved ones who keep you focused on the here and now and future. I am so very happy you have the strength to write to us again! Hugs!

  4. How beautiful this post. Because it is here, and says you are here. Because your written words are exquisite and beautiful, as is your heart and spirit.

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