a man is mourning, leaning on his fist against the wall, while inside his silhouette we see a grave with flowers


One of our members passed away recently. He went by the handle “bluchs.” He once wrote a profound statement in a forum on this site. I’ve mentioned part of it in another post, but it is worth repeating in its entirety:

“Do I still have the right to be scared, depressed, and sad? I have had plenty of time to make my peace, and say all of my goodbyes, but it remains very hard. So I will still Pray, and I will still Hope, and I will fight right up to the end.”

What he said has really stuck with me. So I thought we could take a closer look at what he asked and how he answered his own question.

What are we afraid of?

What about being scared? What is it we are afraid of?

Well, we have a life-threatening disease and some of our members are facing the very real possibility of losing their lives soon. For others, like myself, we may have a longer time but the threat of death is always there. We can choose to ignore it. We can put on a good face to reassure others. But it is still there.

We fear for our loved ones too and what our passing will mean to them. How will it affect their lives? Will their finances be okay without us? Will they be all right without us there? Yes, we have a right to feel fear.

What about depression?

Sometimes we wonder if we will be able to protect our mental health during this time. Will depression slip us into a darkness that wastes what time we have left?

For some with cancer, depression can seem unavoidable. It goes beyond mere sadness. Depression saps your energy making it hard to climb out of the deep hole it puts you into. There are ways to combat it, but that requires a whole other post. Leave it to say that, yes “bluchs,” depression can be a part of this cancer thing.

What about sadness?

Sadness alone is not necessarily depression. Yet it can dampen our energy and lead us toward depression. We are sad about a life shortened, about goals not met, maybe not completing that bucket list, leaving too soon. Or, just being sick and not able to do what we used to. Yes, it is normal to be sad at times.

Saying goodbye

I’m glad he had the chance to say his goodbyes. Still, that must have been hard. I can only imagine what it was like for him.

But what he said, his answer to all this, will always stick with me: “So I will still Pray, and I will still hope, and I will fight right up to the end.”

I hope when I am facing my end, whether by cancer or simply old age, I will be as brave as he was, even in the midst of fear.

Godspeed, my friend, we are all blessed by having crossed paths with you.

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