I really want to stop complaining about this year. I really want this year to stop giving me things to complain about.
2018 pretty much began with the death of my uncle/godfather in February. He was diagnosed with lung cancer and had begun treatment, but the cancer was really aggressive and he was gone in about three weeks. He happened to pass on the same day my father did almost 40 years ago.
I went down to his funeral and met up with his son and daughter, cousins I hadn’t seen since my own wedding. I spent a few hours at Heather’s house, met her husband and kids, and got a chance to catch up just a little. We’ve been interacting on Facebook along with several other cousins.
Earlier this month, Heather was diagnosed with liver cancer (she was not a drinker – I feel like I have to add that because it’s often the first thing that people think). She had surgery last week and passed away Sunday morning. I don’t have any more detail than that.
I am angry. That’s not my usual response to a loss, but this one really, really pissed me off. Heather was about 10 years younger than I am, she had two kids around my kids’ ages, she had a husband who adored her. I keep thinking about them all in their house trying to figure out how to move forward without her, living with the pain of an empty spot at the table, a wife and mother who is never coming home. It’s awful and I feel terrible for them all.
I remember that emptiness; that shapeless void that can’t be reached across. I remember that desperation to rewind the last few days and change things; the utter disbelief that someone who was so important to you could suddenly cease to exist.
This is an especially tough thing during the Christmas season. I can’t imagine what it’s like to associate this holiday with the death of a partner or parent.
I know I’m not the only one who has had an unbelievably shitty year. 2018 can suck it.