Not Ready

Open letter about grieving.... saying goodbye because of cancer

Have you ever been in a situation that you didn’t feel ready for but that there really was no way to really ever be ready. Like stomp-your-feet, hold-your-breath, wish-you-could-do-something to change the outcome because you “don’t wanna.” Have you ever experienced this feeling? Perhaps it came when looking for a new job, starting a new school year, from a friend moving away or in worst case losing someone.

I know someone who is in the tug-o-war of life right now, the struggle that is called “cancer”. Doctors have given grim outcomes and everyone has stood by watching and waiting, inside just saying “I’m not ready.” Sometimes when situations in life reach a certain emotional threshold it’s hard to find the words. But also, because there are so many emotions you want to let them out and share them with at least someone in hopes that somehow that could make a difference.

Last week I read something someone else wrote that very closely expressed what I’m feeling today. And to protect her privacy I’m just relaying part of her post called Missing.

It’s 2AM, can’t sleep.My mind is racing with so many thoughts and emotions, my tired body cannot find enough peace or rest to sleep.I am sitting in the kitchen, listening to the hum and ho of the dishwasher, processing the scene in the kitchen from earlier this evening.When I arrived at my grandparents, I was greeted by my aunt, who looked at me with joy that I was here, but pure exhaustion from the day, my sweet Pawpaw, smiling, glad that we finally made it, and my uncle, who I admire so much, for being such a strong rock throughout this experience.Someone was missing.

I was in luck, it was close to her “dinnertime”, so she would be up soon to eat a little food and take some medicine.As we were getting settled, Pawpaw went to get Nana.  Within a few minutes, she was in the hallway making her journey to the kitchen.I saw my Nana less than a month ago at my sisters wedding, it seemed at that time the cancer was winning, but her appearance and movement has radically changed since then.Quietly, she said, “Come here sweetie, so I can hug your neck.”Nana hasn’t changed, her body has just failed.  The warmth and love is still there, it’s just slower and exhausted.I ran to her as quick as I could.  I smothered her with kisses, as she did me.  I told her she looked so beautiful and how much I loved her.The last few weeks have been brutal.  The next few weeks don’t look so hot either.Today was a glimpse into a foreign land, that I am not ready to visit.
The world were Nana isn’t there to hug my neck.

And just like my friend who is “not ready to visit the world where Nana isn’t here to hug her neck.” I am not ready to say goodbye to someone who has deeply touched my life. Someone who has made many heart smile and someone that lights up a room. She is an embodiment of the word family and consequently, there are many MANY people standing at her bedside right now “wishing for a miracle.”

I know that even though most of us are not ready the time will come much sooner than what we will be ready for.

Open letter about grieving.... saying goodbye because of cancer

To someone I love who has loved me and many others in this life, you will always be in my heart…  I will always remember your laughter.

6 thoughts on “Not Ready

  1. Sitting here crying for you all…and praying for her and all of you. Beth is one of the most incredible people I've ever met.

  2. Her smile, her warm home that she opened up to everyone with so many hugs, her infectious laugh….she will always be remembered…and I always be thankful for my old home away from home…

  3. Elysa, thank you for sharing your deepest emotions at a time like this. You're right…we're never ready for the end of the lives of people we love. My dad had cancer and possibly still does. It's difficult for my mom to handle the anger that results from the cancer treatments and watching his body deteriorate slowly. I keep telling her to remember and talk about the good times they've had. Walk down memory lane. It will all happen to us. It's just a matter of when and how.

    I don't know how you feel, yet (unfortunately) will very soon. Remember the good…remember the hugs…remember how blessed you are that Nana is in your life, as well as everyone you love.

    Thank you again for exposing your deepest feelings. I pray for you and your family in this time of need.


  4. Wow, this is beautiful. Thank you for sharing this. My mom is a cancer survivor…those are the first time I've written those words. She fought it over the past year, and thankfully, she won. Some people are not so lucky, and I'm so sorry your loved one is one of those people.

    Although it may not feel like it right now, your love and support means a lot to her, and living your life to the fullest is a great way to honor her memory in the future. Know that you're not alone!

  5. Beautiful, Elysa…Those glimpses into that foreign land are terrifying because you know what to expect, you know what is inevitable, and it’s a change you’re never ready for. But getting that’s glimpse means you have something precious: time. Time to be there, to prepare even though you can never really be prepared, but still that illusion is a comfort. And time to share more moments, create more memories.

    My heart absolutely goes out to you and all of your loved ones for something I can barely imagine. As the others say, she is lucky to have you and your support, your strength, your laughter, and your love.

    In my thoughts…

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