While I was having my heart and lung issues and in and out of hospital, I lost my closest cousin,1 good friend and 2 colleagues.  I had to learn how to get past survivors guilt.

I am no stranger to dealing with loses.

As you could expect of someone my age I had lots of loses under my belt. Some more profound than others.  I lost a good friend over 10 years ago. It was a devastating loss for his entire family as well as my own. He was so young and such a great guy. My heart was broken in half and we continually question he could be gone. He should not have died. The loss made no sense. I still talk to him all the time and he does make himself known to me, especially in times of need. He had his hand on my shoulder as I went through my bad days and he is there when I talk to him.

This helps me cope some days knowing that those that have gone before us can reach out and we are never without them. At least I hope so. For me it means we will truly see them again.

One Floor Directly Below Me

While I was in hospital, my cousin passed away. In my Irish Catholic family and from the days when families had 8 kids, cousins were often your only salvation. She was one of the cousin’s that shaped my childhood. Much of our teens and married years we were together. We basically each others family secrets. From tea party’s to teen dances and finally to bars together. Our husbands knew each other for years before we met and married. I miss her terribly. She was a brave soul who fought a valiant fight  all her adult life. Her early death came from complications of having a transplant years before.

My cousin brings me Cardinals and Blue Jays and it is easy to think of her when I see them. When you think about that person enough a sign appears. And I can take comfort in the fact that I will never be alone.

More Losses

In that same time frame, I lost 2 colleagues, one to pancreatic cancer and another to lung cancer. They fought and lost their battles too soon. Having meant the world to me,it was very hard for me to return to work after losing them. Although I hear their voices in those hallowed halls, my work environment is not the same nor would it ever be the same. They went far too early.

And Another

Then I got a call from a girlfriend who had been distant with me lately. She sent me an email from her dying bed saying she was sorry for not letting me knows but her treatment had gone south. She and her husband decided to keep it to themselves. I asked her to let me and my family offer support for her and her family but she did not respond. She also had pancreatic cancer and succumbed to her disease quietly without having anyone know what was happening to her. Some people are more private than most. She was a very private person. She passed quietly that week and had a private service. There was no closure for those that loved her other than the closest of kin.

In My Mind’s Eye

Each one of these people are my angels.

They are the ones who have their hands on my shoulder saying, “Barbara, you’ve got this.” I think of them often and I am aware of what a gift this life would have been for them, even if they didn’t know it.

Doctors asked me if I had seen the light but unfortunately I did not. I don’t remember anything of when I was “dead.”  Someone told me it was because my life line was never severed rather it was merely interrupted. I think I get the idea of that but I really don’t know. I didn’t hear any voices and have no direction on why or what was keeping me here.

It is truly upsetting for me because I am the youngest of 5 children so it is a real possibility that I could be the last remaining survivor.

And It Happens Again

Yesterday I got a call that my cousin’s husband had been sick for over a year and he passed away yesterday morning. It is unbelievable. I had no idea that he was even sick. He was a good 10 years younger than me. A good man, one of the nicest people you would want to know, a good husband and a great father. The last time I saw him he appeared to be in great shape, saying he and his wife where heading out on their first cruise.

I am having a tough time getting my head around it.

I Am Stunned

I can’t shake this feeling of sadness that is like a veil that has come over me. Now, I start thinking of all the people who have passed away and I wonder why I am the one that was saved. Do I have some calling to fulfill? Is there something that the higher powers have planned for me? I am not special, I have no special talents, no special powers. So why did I get saved when they didn’t?  If there is a special calling or something I need to do, it has not been revealed to me.

Writing is this blog is strictly my opinion only and do not intend to be giving professional advice.