I half-joked a little while ago about how mad I’d be if I add someone to my blogroll and they kick off – because I don’t handle death well. I know I don’t, but the reason is a bit strange and indecipherable exactly why.
Death has surrounded me, yet evaded me my whole life. It’s been in my immediate family with my sister, but I was too young to remember. It’s been in my surrounding family, but people I wasn’t really attached to. I’ve spent countless hours in the funeral home growing up as my grandparents’ siblings passed through.
Aside from that, there have only been two people close to me who have died. One in a car accident and one after 2-3 years fighting multiple myeloma. I think the accident was harder. He was 3 years younger than me and had just gotten engaged. The memorial service was literally gut-wrenching. Our church was packed with everyone, including full fireman detail since he was a volunteer fireman. There was no preparation for his death, he was in the prime of his life in perfect condition, and then he was gone.
Now that I’ve started this site, I’ve exposed myself to a high-risk population. Death was one reason I had insulated myself from CF people. I don’t like to lose things, especially people. I find it hard to make friends, so it’s a big investment of time and emotions for me to put myself out there. Beautiful showed me Conner’s site after they posted that they were bringing him home to “be comfortable until the end.” I didn’t want to go back to the site. You’ve seen my tribute to Conner. That sucked – it was a rough day for me, but not like it would be if I’d known him or the family or even if I’d been commenting back and forth with his family on the site.
This week I read about Jill. She was in the hospital with Stacey Bene, and Stacey just got discharged on Wednesday. Jill never left the hospital. This is too many, too close. I didn’t know Jill, but given another few weeks of blogging and Facebooking, I wonder if we would have met.
I wonder if I can do this, this getting to know CFers. I have purposefully avoided this situation my entire life, but now I’ve been considering even meeting some of these CF people. Shoot, Jess lives in Tampa somewhere. We’re probably like 20 minutes away from each other. Do I risk getting to know CFers?
Is it one thing to have friends and then find out they have something life-threatening and another thing to seek out friends who have something life-threatening? Do people really seek out AIDS or ALS patients to be friends with? Maybe it’s a brotherhood and sisterhood thing that I should be sticking to for the cause, but I’m still processing a bunch of emotions around making friends who die at a higher rate than the population average.
How do you feel about it, fibros and cysters? Do you even think about the future that way? Certainly our significant others thought about it but made a choice in favor of sticking with us, but it’s not like they were out cruising the bars looking for a CFer to befriend. Chime in, let’s have a talk.