Have you ever truly sat down and thought about death? Have you ever simply looked her in the eyes and realized she was not something to fear? What about the life you lead right here, right now? When I personally think about life and death together, I realize they go hand in hand just as fear and excitement, joy and loss, the truth is each one is the barer of the other, and they each live within us every day.
Maybe there are those days when we manage to toss it in the corner, or hide it away in a drawer, but the truth is death never really escapes us. We go through our lives day to day, living with no fear of what the next turn may bring but then one day we wake up and we know that something is wrong. We can feel it deep within our bones, within our souls and we tremble with the loss our spirit has awakened with. Without notice a letter unexpectedly arrives, the phones rings in the middle of the night and we just know...something is not right, something is wrong, something terrible has happened.
The grief and the loss of a loved one can be unbearable as we struggle to move forward. Yet the lives of those we have lost can truly inspire us to be brave, to see the hope in this very hour and to fight another day. In my own battle with this beast, this crazy thing we call breast cancer, I have had to stare death in the eyes, to welcome death, to accept the loss of those I have come to love. Yes I have watched many fellow sisters along this journey continue to struggle, to live life circling around death, trying to outsmart death, even going into hand to hand combat with death herself.
Grief, sadness and loss has come to my door many times but each and every time she has brought news of the death of a loved one death has also brought me courage. How you may be asking yourself about now, well the courage of these precious few is a gift they leave each one of us. Watching each one accept and walk gracefully beside death as they journeyed to the grave together has instilled both hope and courage inside my heart. They each knew the fight could not go on indefinitely, yet while they were able each one lived loudly. They knew life is precious and fleeting and chose to live in each moment. So this is my wish, my one desire in this journey I am on: to live bravely as the ones who have come before me have.
*Kim was not just a friend; she was a sister in arms. She was a voice for those fighting this beast we call Breast Cancer. Kim both inspired and encouraged me to raise my voice and ultimately lead to Christina’s Breast Friends becoming the organization it is on it's way to becoming today. Today as we begin the process of becoming a nonprofit and launching Christina's Breast Friends website I lovingly dedicate our work to Kim.