Thursday, July 7, 2011

Survivor's Guilt

Tuesday evening I went to see my friend Gail. For the past two years, I've thought of her as my cancer twin. We share the same first name, we have been through the same type of cancer (colon), and we were diagnosed just a few months apart.

We met about 2 years ago, when we both joined our county's Relay For Life planning committee.  We found an instant connection and a true friendship. Gail has brought me joy every time I've seen her or spoken to her. She's a wonderful person!

So Tuesday evening I went to see her. As she lay in the bed at the hospice home, she looked so vulnerable. My sweet, stylish friend lay there wearing no makeup, so she looked a little different, yet so beautiful all at the same time. It hurt my heart so much to see her there and know that her time has come.

I touched her shoulder and spoke softly to her, sharing a prayer with my dear Christian friend. She was too deeply drugged to answer me, but her body shifted slightly, and I believe she knew I was there. Speaking with her husband and mother, I learned that she has already planned the service she wants, and that she spent time, taxing though it was to her body, making a video for her granddaughter and future grandchildren. How sad it is to know that she won't be able to enjoy more time being a grandmother!

As I sadly drove home, I wondered if I would be able to drive safely. The tears poured freely, and I was deep in conversation with God, asking him why it had to be her and not someone else. Why did I have the same cancer and come away so easily, relatively speaking? I don't know the answers, and these things keep me awake at night. I know I must try to do as much good as I can to deserve the great gift I have been given. And I know that I must never forget the gift I was given when Gail came into my life.

Wishing you a peaceful journey, my friend. Save me a place in Heaven. I love you.


  1. How beautiful, Gail! I cannot begin to imagine what you are going through--just know that God's plan is perfect and we'll all know the answers one day. God Bless You and Your family. Hugs.

  2. What a beautiful testament of your faith and friendship between two wonderful Gails. Lynne is right, God's plan is perfect and while we may not even be capable of understanding why that plan involves the suffering and ultimate loss of those very close to our hearts, know that all things shall be made pain to us one day. You shall all remain in my heart as well as my thoughts and prayers in the days ahead, for peace, calm and comfort. Your friend, Nancy