I wrote this a few days ago and intended to keep it to myself, but I can't. I need to put it out there. On top of the subject covered here, I just found out that a friend I went to school with, a friend who is my age, 24, has been diagnosed with Inflammatory Breast Cancer. She has a little boy. I saw her at the Harry Potter book 7 release and she was fine, at that point her mother was fighting cancer, but my friend was healthy. She's my age. She was fine. And now she isn't. I wish I could make that better, too.
I've never lost anyone, you know. Sure, my grandparents are all gone, but they passed on long before close bonds had ever been made, before I knew them at all really, and it seems right that sometimes grandparents leave us, even while we are still children. My uncle passed away a few years ago, and although I loved him it didn't hit me hard. He was my favorite uncle, truth be told, but I hadn't seen him much in quite a few years and when he passed it didn't feel it keenly. I was sad, of course, sad for my aunt and my cousins and their children, sad that the wonderful man in my childhood memories was no longer among us, but not like this. I don't know how to feel like this. And the truth is, it isn't my pain I feel, but the pain of a dear friend, the pain I can imagine when I look at my own children, the pain I've forced myself to visualize in the past until I could no longer bear it. But she cannot look away. It is her baby and it is happening. My heart is so broken for her, I can't think of them or speak of them without the pain bubbling up in my soul and spilling from my eyes. If my body cannot hold this small approximation of what she is feeling, how can her body hold the full measure?
This is not my story to write and yet, I am. Because I can do nothing else. I grieve in words and phrases and I cannot keep them silent. I cannot breathe or think or speak without their names on the back of my tongue, wriggling to the forefront of my mind. I cannot sleep without seeing their faces, without waking each half hour to be sure my phone is working, to be sure I haven't missed a call. The call. I cannot look at my children without thinking of hers. I cannot snuggle in beside them without thinking of her snuggled next to Jacob, breathing every moment of him in, without realizing that elsewhere in the world there are mothers who know these moments are limited and can no longer see them stretching toward infinity. I cannot listen to my children's discord without thinking how damn lucky I am to hear them bickering, because it means they are both together and with me. I cannot kiss their feverish foreheads in the night without knowing they will recover, but some children do not; that knowledge a lump in my throat. And so I write, because these things are not all that often spoken of and they deserve to be. I can't help but bear her grief and shoulder a bit of the pain, because Katie's heart just cannot hold it all on her own. And neither can the wee hearts of these precious children.
It's just so awful. It makes me want to sleep in Charlie's room every night just to get a few more moments with him. I absolutely cannot imagine the horror K is going through.
I am at a loss for words. And in awe of the strength your friend and her family are demonstrating in the face of such tragedy.
I can hardly even wrap my head around that kind of loss. It's too cavernous to contain. I feel so deeply sad for your friend and her family.
Thanks for the reminder to cherish what we have.
There is no word in our language for that sort of loss, for this situation, for where you are with this.
I think, at best, there is just a sort of noise, like the keening wail my grieving cat made.
Using My Words
I LOVE that picture of all Katie's children. So sweet.
You have the ability to put into words what I am also feeling...
I am so sorry about your other young friend. :(
That was very beautifully written, Kyla.
I'm so sorry, friend.
That had me in tears.
you are such a true friend.. to bear some of that unbearable pain
Tonight I am hugging you so hard.
I'm sorry, too. I've been thinking about your friend a lot--I am so sorry about this tragedy.
Hugs to all of you--what a beautiful post.
Kyla, you have such an amazing way with words. You express what many of us are feeling and I'm very glad that you shared this.
Katie is so blessed to have you as a dear friend. Your pain is so much and yet it's true that it's only a portion of what sweet Katie is experiencing. I just can't imagine...
I feel the same way about some of my friend's stories, and I agree hearing other stories, no matter how hard, is better than pretending it cannot happen. Writing and speaking about these terrible burdens it makes them less isolating.
So very, very sad and unjust all of this.
You said this so beautifully.
(I read it and then walked around the house, hugging my teenagers.)
oh honey, honey i am so sorry.
you are just golden inside, really.
Your hand in my hand your heart in my heart. Your beauty, so so evident and lucky are those who you love, even in their times of trial.
It's too hard to even think about the loss your friend is experiencing. What a horrible, horrible thing to live in a world where children can die.
I love you. I love your heart. I love your kindness.
Wishing you both strength and counting my blessings.
"If my body cannot hold this small approximation of what she is feeling, how can her body hold the full measure?"
Amen. Simply the thought of this horror is enough to bring us crashing to our knees, sprawled out and helpless. Wishing your friend, her son, and the rest of her family some measure of peace.
it is just so sad.
It's a sad story about beautiful people. Thanks for sharing it with us. I think special little boys like Jakie have amazing parents.
How very terrible. The mind can only imagine, and yet it still is only a fraction, the smallest portion, of what she may be feeling.
I am so sorry for your friends (both of them) facing this terrible time.
I know. I know.
These mother hearts of ours are so large, so strong, but so easily hurt.
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