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What IF...

I find this whole process of living and dying so fascinating.  I don't think it would be so, if I was someone who had never really had to face anything too difficult or at least anything that messed with my foundation of mortality.

I find it fascinating to experience firsthand, how you can go from just fine... to not... in seconds, without an ounce of warning and with a toilet paper commercial tipping you off your precarious position of balance.  I hate it actually, but fascinating all the same.

I posted earlier this week about the patterns of grief I've been noticing, but then I deleted the post.  I hadn't fully completed my thoughts and accidentally published it. There are definite patterns though.

Overwhelm and shock are one of the first things you feel, mixed with a healthy dose of denial.  Then comes acceptance; at least in some degree.  I don't think acceptance is something you resolve just once and then move on.  It think it can be an hourly experience.  After whatever amount of acceptance you find, there seems to be this lull when things actually feel 'normal'.  Some kind of newness that feels okay.  It's here that you start to wonder what you got all worked up about in the first place.  It's sort of a weird place to be. And finally, something goes wrong, a pebble in the peace you tried so hard to find and you're back to overwhelm.

I have discovered something powerful this past week as I find myself in the place of resolve and 'normal'.  It's a place where I am open to possibilities, clarity and understanding.  And truly, I have come to believe that it is a place that God provides for us so that he can send more tools to help us with the next step.  I believe that more than anything!

So, here I am in a week that has been incredibly inspirational, incredibly Holy as I feel the spirit working in me, teaching me, inspiring me.  With a little luck and a lot of Faith, I will grasp the take away message... which is...

Two days ago, my dearest friend Alisa received some horrible news.  She is in the worst possible stage of Melanoma cancer and she has been fighting like a champ for years.  It came down to just one measly tumor by her liver and now...her abdomen is scattered about with cancer.  She can choose to keep fighting with more chemo and continue to suffer long and hard, or endure and transition to the next life where she will be pain free, worry free and care for her children and husband as an Angel Momma.  I don't use the term 'measly' lightly, it's just that this girl has been clear full of cancer from head to toe at one point and through intelligent research, incredible doctors, an amazing and supportive husband and family, faith like I've never seen before, she literally melted that cancer away so it was a miracle that all that was left was one little tumor.  It has proven to be a stubborn and very aggressive one!

At any rate...She has received the most moving comments on her blog post about this situation she now faces.  I wanted to re-post what one of her readers commented.  This quote originated with Eve Ensler who faced her own cancer battle.

"What if our lives were precious only up to a point? 
What if we held them loosely and understood that there were no guarantees? So that when you got sick, you weren't a stage, but in a process. And cancer was a process, just like having your heart broken or getting a new job or going to school or becoming a teacher? 
What if rather than being cast out and defined by some terminal category you were identified as someone in the middle of a transformation that could deepen your soul, open your heart and all the while even if and particularly when you were dying, you would be supported by and be part of a community? 
And what if each of these things were what we are waiting for?”

I love this quote!!!  So, my point is...this week, I have learned again that it isn't really about life and death.  It's just about life.  Life here...life there...We aren't in a stage, we are in a process of living life and life never ends it just changes into something deeper, better, more than we can even imagine.   It's just that we cling so tightly to this imaginary dream that life is only here, what we know.

I want so badly to remember this empowering idea.  I want so badly to know this and feel it and let it reach into every single strand of my being.  I want to become this; embody this.  I want so badly to not feel scared for the future.   What if that could really happen?  Wow...just imagine!  There could be nothing frightening anymore.  Nothing.  That would be really amazing.
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