Thursday, June 14, 2007

Illness, Death and Community

Carrie's mother died last Tuesday night of gallbladder cancer. Carrie has a blog about her life, her mother's illness, and caring for her father until his death earlier this year, and there is a link off to the right of this page. In caregiving her parents, Carrie has been loving, devoted, and attentive. I've never met Carrie, who lives in Canada, and I probably won't meet her, but I have developed a deep connection with her over the last six months, since we discovered each other through the internet.

First, a tribute to Carrie's mom, and to Carrie. I honor Carrie's hard work over these past months, and mourn with her the loss of her mother. I haven't been in her shoes over all of this time, but I am moved by her example of love. Carrie, please know that your grief is shared.

How did Carrie and I get connected? I have a "Google search" daily for any new entries on the web for gallbladder cancer, and so when Carrie began to blog about her mother's diagnosis, I was connected to the blog, and wrote a comment. I did so because one of my goals in establishing my blog was to reach out to others who could use the links to resources and information that I gained. Carrie wrote back, and we began to read and post on each other's blogs regularly, and then I created the link here to her blog. During the winter, I wrote about the loneliness of having a rare cancer. I think that loneliness can extend to caregivers and others who love someone with this rare disease, gallbladder cancer. Connecting with Carrie has been a piece of this; connected with someone deeply and personally affected by the cancer, and sharing our experiences using this inherently impersonal and mechanical format, the internet, to create a warm and personal connection.

Carrie, I salute you. Thank you for sharing your journey with me and with others who read your blog, and your comments on my blog.

A brief note about me. Patty's post from earlier today explained a lot. Mostly, things bubble along pretty much the same. I have had more pain in the last 10 days or so, but the hospice nurse, Mary, is doing a great job of helping medicate my pain. When I'm comfortable and reasonably pain free, I feel better to do other things. I have a big weekend coming up, with two parties to celebrate my 60th birthday (which is technically Monday). Again, many thanks to all of you who support me and those of love me with your words, deeds, prayers and ongoing love.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Lynne,
I too, have enjoyed reading Carrie's comments, and admire her perspective on her Mom's illness. I haven't read her blog, but will make a point to do so now.
Happy Birthday, sweet Lynne!
Peace and Love,
Mary M

Anonymous said...

I think the song "Amazing Grace" was written with you in mind, dear Lynne -- you have amazing grace, and then some. I knew Monday was your birthday, but not that it was your 60th, so happy happy birthday, friend, mentor, and inspiration.
Lots of love,
Mary F

Teresa Hartman said...

In honor of the 60th anniversary of your birth, the traditional gift seems most fitting for you, Lynne:
"Diamond which comes from the Greek word adamas which means unconquerable and enduring". Happy, happy birthday, and may you have wonderful parties!

Cathy said...

Lynne -

I am remembering our mutual kvetching last winter when the constitutional convention cast the OH SO WRONG vote on marriage equality. When we at last got the right result yesterday, I thought of you immediately. I am so glad you are here to see it. Rejoice!

Cathy

Anonymous said...

I grieve with Carrie on the loss of her mother. I know she will carry her with her in her heart forever. I can honestly say my mother is more than merely in my daily thoughts. Although her passing was a painful loss, over time her spirit has joined mine and we are one! I feel her vibrant presence in my life now more than ever. I wish Carrie the peace of knowing her mother is no longer suffering this earth, the strength to carry on along her own path and the knowledge that her mother's spirit will always be with her while she travels her own journey of life.
Lynne,I'm glad you were born!
What a gift to us all!
Happy birthday, Lynne! May you enjoy lots of laughter, feel the warmth of many hugs and rest with a smile,knowing that your life has touched so many!
lovingly,
Cori

Anonymous said...

Have a great birthday weekend and trip to P-town! You and your family continue to hold a special place in my mind, one that send positive thoughts and blessings throughout the day.

I hope your body will give you a great birthday weekend and trip, much like it gave you a great day for Patty's birthday earlier.

Blessings,
Sarah Carroll

Carrie said...

Dear Lynne,
Thank you for this. I stopped in to see how YOU were doing and ended up reading about me and mom. That's so like you.

It's going to take me time to get back into this. There's more to say at Leafing and things to share. But so much of what we experienced, you are already writing about and much better than I ever could.

You are my shining light and inspiration. I've looked to you for guidance with caring for Mom and you always had such wisdom to share.

I'm too stoned on tranquilizers to be writing this so I'll stop now. Be back soon.

Much Love and Hugs to you and Patty,
Carrie

Carrie said...

Have a Wonderful and Very Happy Birthday Lynne :) {Hug}

Love,
Carrie

Anonymous said...

Lynne....Happy, happy birthday celebration of YOU! How much BETTER and RICHER our world is because of YOU and all you've shared with us....Smiles and sunshine to you, Patty and the kids in P-town....Jamie