Sunday, May 1, 2016

Sunrise, sunset

I went to visit a dying friend yesterday. She is about my age and had been battling ovarian cancer for several years. We all were rooting hard for her - I gave her my spirit award at my event a couple of years ago - but a couple of weeks ago she announced she was going into hospice care. She was still sitting up and chatting a few days ago but by yesterday she was unresponsive. I went with a friend who had seen her in that state already and told me to be prepared. I was prepared. Death is an ugly thing, especially in the young. But I managed to not completely fall apart as I held her hand and told her how loved she was and how she wouldn't be forgotten. It was heartbreaking.

She was just one of these lovely, kind, gentle people. When she goes - which could be any moment now - there's going to be a huge ripple of sadness across the dance community. People much closer to her than I was were there yesterday and I felt a little awkward about imposing on their sad moment - when a popular person dies, they sort of become a commodity and everyone wants a piece of it - but I tried my darnedest to just be quiet and respectful. 

All we all want is to live a long, healthy life. That doesn't seem to be too much to ask, but sometimes it is.

There was a lot of talk about heaven and God yesterday. I so wish I could believe in those things, but I can't. I thought about how death of loved ones is pretty rare for most first world types these days - but for many people in the world today, and certainly for generations before us, death was commonplace. My great grandmother lost one of her children in infancy 100 years ago, and I bet most women at that time had that experience. How did people go on? I guess you just do, because you must. 

I take the tactic that life is short, you never know when your number's up, so take your pleasures where you can. It's not exactly Viv from Spinal Tap's philosophy of life, "have a good time all the time", but it's close. 

1 comment:

  1. I'm so sorry to hear about your friend. It is tragic and jarring when someone dies young. It seems to be happening all over, maybe it's getting older, maybe its how news spreads with social media. I've experienced 5 deaths of friends/acquaintances my age and younger, in just the past 2 years. Four of them left young children behind and one was just a child herself. It's tough to know what to do with the experience. Sending love to your community and your friend as she passes.