Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Growing Up: The Reality of Death

I'm 32 years old and IT has hit.  A huge concern about mortality has officially landed square in my lap.  I'm sad and I'm scared.

My best friend found a lump in her breast.  She's been back and forth with physicians about it for two weeks and finally, they acknowledged that something was wrong.  After several mammograms, they sufficiently freaked her out by indicating that the mass was quite large and an odd shape.  It also turned out that she had several other masses that needed to be reviewed.  Several biopsies and 4.5 days of waiting later, she has been told that she doesn't have cancer, but they don't know what's wrong with her.  She'll continue to have mammograms every few months while they investigate the issue.

4.5 days of waiting.  4.5 days of crying and freaking out and speculating and imagining worst case scenarios.  She has a toddler.  She is engaged and will soon have two stepchildren.  Her fiance travels for work 100% of the time.  How would she handle a cancer diagnosis?  She lives an hour away from civilization.  How would she handle treatment?  How could I help her when I'm stressed about my own life and I live six hours away?  Thank God it all turned out alright, at least for now.

I just learned that a colleague passed away last night.  I just saw him last week.  The email this morning indicated that his cause of death is still TBD.  He wasn't sick.  He wasn't in an accident.  He just dropped dead?!?  He has a wife and two kids.  I can't even imagine how awful this must be for them.

I've been very fortunate in that until now, I haven't had to think much about death.  These two events have me thinking though...should I be more concerned?  Should I be contingency planning?  My husband and I have drafted our will, but we haven't been able to finalize it.  We need to do that.  We need to share it openly with our family and those who would be involved in supporting N.  It's incredibly sad to think about and a very grown-up topic.  Although I'm an adult, I don't feel ready for it.

For now, I will put away my tears and add "finalize will" to my to-do list.  It seems such an odd thing to type into Wunderlist...

1 comment:

  1. (((hugs))) What a roller coaster for your friend and you. My Aunt was diagnosed with breast cancer two years ago but treatment was successful and she is fine now. I can't imagine a woman with a small child going through all those treatments. I'm glad it has turned out for the best. Death is a sneaky dude. However, he is going to come whether we are ready or not. The best we can do is live every day to the fullest and be prepared for the worst. We've done the life insurance part but we still have to do our wills, too.