A morbid topic I know, but a fact of life. Until recently Death had not visited my life very often. Then he came and starting taking family members. It was sad, and hard, but nothing compared to what he is doing to me now.
He has not suddenly ripped someone out of my life as he has in the past. This time he is slowing draining the life of someone very close to me with an insidious sickness called cancer.
As horrible as the situation is, you still have to deal. The kids still need to be dressed, fed and taken to school and my day job is still there waiting to be worked. I have dealt with it in a couple of ways. Firstly in my writing – and this is not the first time I have used writing as a way to process death. I wrote a mini memoir that covers the two weeks from when I first learnt the news through to my visit with him and my return home. Previously I wrote a play, which I hope to turn into a novel, about the fall out from the suicide of a friend.
The second thing I did was reassess my life. I definitely want to write for a living, and not corporate communication writing as I am now. I want to make my living writing novels. I watch this person work a highly stressful job, neglect their health and well being at times, suffer through high blood pressure and diabetes and now cancer.
I don’t want to be in a job that I don’t like. I don’t want to stress over work, I want to enjoy it. And I want to share with people the stories I have to tell.
Something else I have learnt out of all this is the realization that you should hug a loved one as often as you can as you never know when it will be your last hug.