Loss & Gainby Lizz on Thursday, December 29, 2011 21:09
This is something I haven’t discussed on the blog-I always try to keep it strictly IBD and health-related, but sometimes themes overlap. This year, I’ve lost a lot of people. A lot. The most devastating to me was the loss of my Papaw-the main male figure in my life. The man who taught me how to tie my shoes, taught me the importance of patience, and how to live gracefully with a disability. I lost my Uncle Russ, a spitfire, gypsy spirit like me. I dealt with the cancer diagnosis of my favorite aunt, I saw her lose her beautiful hair and part of her breast, and I saw her survive all of it. I saw my uncle-in-law pass, a humble, kind man who went too soon and I saw his lovely wife continue her life with strength and grace.
The year has been peppered with this, in some way or another, and I’m sure it’s been similar for many of you. Maybe your loss is more direct-maybe you lost your colon. Maybe you lost a relationship or a job because of your surgery or illness. Last night, my cousin lost her dear uncle-in-law. He had a J-pouch, like me. He had Crohn’s disease like me. He lived in Texas, like me. He was in his 40′s and developed terminal intestinal cancer from Crohn’s. I post this not to discourage you, but to tell you that despite all the loss this year, I feel maybe more at peace than I ever have. No, I’m not glad for the loss, or the suffering that likely accompanied all of this, but it reflects an inner strength and peace that we all can conjure when we need it most. I tell you this with the hopes that you focus on the amazing blessings in your life, despite the lack-of-health cards dealt to you. When I think of Uncle Ralph, I am sad that we only e-mailed, that I never got to meet this amazing, funny, charismatic man who managed to hold on to his personality and hope despite his physical misfortune. It’s a reminder to seize the day, to tell the world about IBD, how much it sucks, and how they can help.
If you are dealing with loss, I wish you healing, and if I can help, by listening, by offering advice, e-mail me. If you need to talk about how IBD/j-pouch surgery is affecting your life, respond to this post-let’s get more discussion going! This website is a blessing. It’s something for which I am eternally grateful. Thanks to Mark & Megan for taking the initiative to create something to connect and assist others who have or are experiencing what they have experienced. And, let’s all take a moment to honor those we’ve lost, and to honor ourselves for being survivors.