Friday, September 14, 2007

There were over 400 names in the book that people signed at funeral home.
Those days are a blur to me and I have mostly cloudy images of what went on and who I saw. I remember some moments very clearly though, for one reason or another.
No one knows what to say in those situations, including me. I want everyone to know that I appreciate just their presence and I understand that there are no words to express how anyone feels. Words truly are inadequate in a situation like that.
One person, who is an old friend who I do not see regularly, hugged me and said in my ear something which was very heartfelt. This person has known me through the loss of my friend Jennifer, through my niece's cancer, and now through the loss of my husband. What he said to me was:
"Life shouldn't be so cruel to you"
I did not reply. But I have to say, the reaction in my head was:
"WHAT?!...Life has been great to me!...I have had a blessed life!...Life has not been cruel to me!... I have had everything...
I love(d) my life! I have two beautiful children! I have great friends and family" etc etc etc

I want to make clear that I have no bad feelings about this person and I understand why he said it. I do believe it was heartfelt and came from a place of genuine love and concern for me.
However, it is important to understand that I do not consider life to be cruel to me. I thank God for Jennifer. I thank God for Joe. And of all my personal acheivements in life, I am most proud of a certificate from Dana Farber Cancer Institute thanking me for the recruitment of 1000 potential bone marrow donors. I would not know that pride if it weren't for Jordyn, and I thank God for her and her bravery and for her continued health.
I know these gifts are given to me with agonizing sadness and struggle as well, but I cannot view my life as cruel.
So I guess what I'm trying to say is, if you feel sorry for me, please don't. I am in pain, I am confused, I am afraid, and I am completely unaware of how any of this is ever going to be "okay"...but I don't intend to live a future that warrants pity. Support me, love me, think of me and tell me that you care, but don't tell me that life is cruel to me, because that takes away my hope. Hope is what I have.


Amanda said...

Thank you for sharing that Robin. To often we all look at life as cruel sometimes, but what a wonderful reminder to never forget those things that have blessed our lives whether past, present or future and even the blessing that can come from incredible sorrow and pain.

Anonymous said...

We all go through many changes in life, both positive and negative. It's hard sometimes to believe that 'things happen for a reason', especially when they have negative effects.
Many people live long lives without experiencing the joys you have already. Remain positive and cherish those positive memories.
Life without Joe will continue to change the lives of many of us for a long time. We are here for you, and for each other.


Heather said...

What I remember most about the funeral is:
1) how many people were there [it seemed like a lot more than 400 to me! I bet they didn't all sign it!]... i.e., how many people Joe had touched through his inspiring and embracing life. For me: awe inspiring Joe.
2) how much grace and dignity you had Robin. What struck me most of all was your ability to *project* [even when you're aching and heart-BROKEN and devestated inside] a sense of appreciation for life and a sense of sincere genuine gratefulness. For me: awe inspiring Robin.

You and Joe *ARE* an inspiring couple. (not past tense). You and Joe *HAVE* touched hundreds of people in such incredibly profound ways. For me: awe inspiring (and HOPE inspiring) Joe & Robin.

I care.
Yes, there is HOPE. In the most raw and pure form: there is hope.

thinking of you constantly,