It's so weird.
I was reading a magazine article in the cancer center waiting room. (Starting to dip my toe in the water after my initial fear of research.) The article was about cancer patients and depression, and it mentioned that in the weeks following diagnosis, cancer patients often experience shock and grief. I thought to myself, "yeah, that's me." Shock and grief. Faith, hope, gratitude, and trust in the Lord, but also shock and grief.
Sometimes that grief weighs heavy on my heart. Sometimes it doesn't, but sometimes it does. And I was thinking about it yesterday, and it seemed kind of funny. Grief. I'm grieving, um...MYSELF! Other people won't grieve me until I'm gone (and only if they like me). But as for me, I'm already grieving myself now. Like I said, it's so weird.
I'm sure the correct answer to that is that I am actually still absorbing the shock and insult of the bad news, and that I am grieving the loss of my expectations for the future (wow - that psychology degree is worth something). I know there is a typical grief process that steps through various stages (shock, denial, anger, bargaining, acceptance, throwing dishes, yada yada yada). I don't really recognize myself going through any of those stages yet. It's just so darn sad at times. Sometimes I am better enough to focus on other things (like work, family, projects - whatever), and sometimes I can laugh at stuff, and sometimes I feel good about the many blessings surrounding me (including but not limited to: access to good and competent care, generous outpourings of kindness from family and friends, my faith, and the love of my husband and children) but I carry a constant ache in my heart, and sometimes in the quiet moments it just feels so darn sad.
I pray often to give thanks for my blessings, which helps me remember and acknowledge them. There is no sense in asking for more blessings if I don't receive what has already been given to me with gratitude and enthusiasm. I also pray to have the strength and comfort to endure all things, including this grief process. And I keep praying for a miracle so that no one will have to be grieving me any time soon.