Letitia passed away on Boxing day, Robs birthday, at 7:53 am. We got the call at 08:10 and our day began with me crying, not for a friend, who I know, did not fear death at all, who found blessed releaf from her suffering, fighting and concerns... but for the family that she left behind, the reason why she fought this aweful desease with such positive resolve and bravery. Their heartache and pain will prevail for many months yet, possibly many years.
Anton lay with his head on her chest, listening to her last twenty heart beats and she went peacefully.
I have wondered since then, how much of what her and I spoke about re death and dying, actually had any bearing on the process itself. We as mortals, have very limited understandingof these things and books, stories, theories, theology mean little when one is in the moment. Who can say??? This such a 'usual' , normal' part of our existance that one would have thought there would be a greater acceptance of it ,less fear, and yet death is still the omnous 'Sword of Damaclese' that hangs over our heads from the time of our conception.
In the last few weeks, dealing with Letitia's breast cancer, I've had to battle that very same deamon...the one that tells you 'you're gonna die'.
Well yes, I know that I am, I just dont know when and that is not for me to determine or worry about. The fact that I have lumps all over my breasts at the moment,hasnt made it easy to prevent the concept of 'death' invade my 'life' , but the essence is always, "yes, for now,I am alive and I WILL live". I've thought of people like Ghandi, Mother Theresa, Florence Nightingale....all were subjected to abject poverty, dread deseases, they had nothing but their own life and confidently used it to benefit others without considering the risk or being sucked into a morbid sence of impending doom.
I was really hoping that the Lord would take her home on His Birthday...her extended family were all there with her, there was a family togetherness. On Christmass day, there is always a greater sence of forgiveness, prayerfulness, thoughtfulness and in a way, it represents a celebration of spiritual re-birth, a feast, a Holy Day, a Blessed day. I believe, that perhaps initially, it would represent a sad day for her family, but eventually, her memory will be part of the celebration, she will not be forgotten. A mutual friend phoned me the day after she passed away to tell me that she had a beautifull vision of her,standing in the light, waving and smiling. I KNOW that is exactly what she's doing now. I have felt her presence and she is happy.
The good news is that Genna, her daughter went for an MRI and although there is an abcess behind her eye, the neurologist is not concerned at all. A small mercy, thank you Lord.