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After the lovely time we had on spring break, it was back to the routine on Monday morning. Eww. It was icky and yucky and horrible and bleah. Unfortunately, my week got worse every single day, with Thursday being the worst day in a long time.

One of my online acquaintances through the Ladies of Lallybroch (which started as a fan site for Diana Gabaldon) lost her battle with lung cancer. I wasn’t particularly close to Karen, but her struggles and illness were something she shared often, and I had actually met her at one of the Surrey gatherings a few years ago. Karen was a no-holds-barred kind of person, and if you didn’t know what she thought about something, you weren’t paying very close attention.

Karen’s death hit me right where I live, a phrase I use literally. When one has been diagnosed with cancer, everyone with cancer is your sister. Your brother. Your friend. You are compadres in the fight against the cellular mutations that kill so many people. Karen was a cancer-sister, and I bawled like a newborn with colic when I learned she was gone.

No one wants to lose a sister.

Just when I had dried my eyes and mopped the mascara off my cheeks, I received an e-mail from a friend and sorority sister. She told me that a mutual friend had died in a gruesome accident across the country. He was also a fraternity brother of my darling husband, though I had the luck to have met him in middle school. See, he was a staff member at a Boy Scout camp run by my father and invaded by early teenage me. I hung out at the camp store every day, and Mark would tell me jokes and sing stupid songs and make me laugh. He had an especially impressive Bobby Vinton impression (young folk, ask your parents or Google him). I thought he was the best thing since, well, ever.

Just typing this makes my breath hitch and my eyes well with tears. Mark shouldn’t be dead. He just shouldn’t. He was kind and funny and smart and a good husband and father. He was successful. He loved his occupation. He loved his family. He should be laughing about his ‘near miss’, planning an excursion into NYC with friends from this coast, and hugging his children.

God. Damn. It.

Life isn’t fair.

I will miss you both, and I hate that you were taken too soon. I wish peace and healing for your families, and peace and healing for the rest of us, too.

With my love, respect and admiration –

Julie the bereft


2 Responses

  1. I’m so sorry, my friend! Know that I’m hugging you from Texas! Yes, I can reach my arms that far … for you, I could do anything.

    • I think you can do anything, anyway – you SuperWoman, you! 🙂 Thanks so much for the hug. I need it and appreciate it! Still weepy at the mere thought of, well… no. Just weepy in general.

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