I am on my way this morning to say goodbye to one of the most beautiful examples of this wisdom I have witnessed in my life. I love her so much and I have learned so much from her. She is in her last days of battling cancer.
Aunt Janis. (Janis is my aunt by marriage, but she is chosen family in a way that is more magical than blood).
She's been battling cancer on and off for more than two decades. She's had every painful treatment known to woman. Cancer has chased her with a fury and she has responded again and again with an honest grief and then held onto what was in her control.
I have watched her for years and years accept the unfair reality of chronic cancer illness and yet still embrace the precious gift of ongoing life.
I am so so so ripped open and sad right now that the reality of her illness has sent her into her last days.
It is so shitty and painful for her and for all of us who adore her.
I am grieving for her husband and her kids and her grandkids. I am grieving for myself and my kids. I am grieving for my husband. The one that really doubles me over: for the grandkids of her second daughter who will never get to meet her. And for her elderly mother who will now outlive her in a state of dementia that I can only imagine will get deeper without Janis. I am going to miss her so much in ways that will truly rearrange my heart and the heart of our family.
And, I will do my best to practice what I preach. To let my grief out, and to hold onto what it is that I can become as a result of the unfair bull shit of terminal cancer taking one of the most kind hearted human beings I have ever had the honor of knowing and loving.
(P.s. I made this video before we knew that the end was here for Janis, if I tried to make the same video today I would have cried my way thru it)