By Atticus Andrew
Among human beings cancer has no friends. The dreaded disease, when inflicted, hangs around to affect all whom its lethal nature touches. When terminal, loss and sorrow consume friends and family; the greater the love therein, the more profound the loss and the sorrow.
I have a friend whose cancer is terminal. He will likely expire within a few months, if not weeks. He is, however, extremely fortunate in admirable respects. He has many friends who are present for him and for his wondrous wife, with him he shares a grand romance. For these intimate consolers, his death will no doubt bring a sharp, painful appreciation for the sanctity of life itself.
But they are not alone. There are others for whom my friend's passing will be equally tragic, if not more so. I refer, of course, to friends and relatives who will, of necessity, only be able to mourn from a distance.
And I refer in particular to the mother upon whom the loss of her first born will literally implode, forcing upon her the greatest depth of grief a human being can know.
My dying friend's mother is an exceptionally lovely woman, without even a hint of ugliness in her manner or in her looks. Yet, she has been denied a presence with her son who is dying. She knew well the pain of his birth, a source of the greatest possible personal joy, but kept entirely away from him in his dying. How and why?
For many reasons, with the impact of his parents' divorce, defining for my friend and his siblings, an inevitable separation from both, but specifically from his mother, who in his upbringing, was the one who kept the family orderly and the children assured a sound way to a sound adulthood.
But my dying friend is ungrateful. His mother knows him too well, so he has deceived himself into justifying her required absence from his life For he does not want her presence to remind him of his weaknesses and his past lies, or better said, his exaggerations. Most of all, my dying friend does not want his beloved wife to know of his past errors as a young man, which his mild-mannered mother would never reveal or openly address, but concerning which, he mistakenly feels and thinks she would, Sad, so very sad.
Thus it is that in the end, a single death from a horrible disease will break many hearts, with none more broken or shattered than that of the woman who gave him birth and who guided him into the possibility of knowing great love during his lifetime..