I know that I have stuffed a lot of feelings away to deal with later and went into survival mode for the most part since diagnosis. You do what you have to do when you have to be tough. Survival mode doesn’t leave a lot of room for feeling. I feel like I’m starting to look around and assess the damage and feel the feelings. Sometimes it just takes having friends give you the permission to stop and feel all the things.
This makes me think so much of my friends who have lost their husbands. I wonder if they are starting to breathe yet. We all experienced the same big crash at the same time in our lives and we are in different places….but the crash of brain cancer entering our lives and changing everything was the same. I’m sure they were tough when they had to be tough. The sad thing is, years later I know people around them move on and maybe they are still heavy in grief. My heart hurts for those friends. I know some have remarried, some are still heavy in grief, some are somewhere in between on the outside and I wonder where they are on the inside.
One thing is for sure….we aren’t who we were 5 years ago. Some of us are stronger in some ways, some of us are completely broken in other ways. I can’t even explain how these experiences build walls. But at the same time, we know how fast it can all be taken away. I don’t take people for granted. I try to always tell people when I appreciate them. Cancer has a way of making you love fiercely. It has a way of making you passionately kind. Because we realize how one act of kindness can be the wind beneath our sails to get through a day. And how on the bad days, lack of kindness can shatter you. There are the walls….but there is also this strong desire to be a part of life.