Life Is Cruel

On Friday evening, while I was cooking dinner and eating with friends, drinking a little too much wine, laughing, having fun and planning a trip later in the year to Centre Parcs, my friend Jane (not her real name) was travelling in an ambulance from hospital to hospice with her husband of just over 8 months, as there is nothing more doctors can do to slow down the progress of his incurable brain tumour.  Paul sobbed uncontrollably all the way, knowing that it was most probably the last journey he will ever make.

As well as Jane, Paul will leave behind a 12 year old son, his parents, his sister and her young family, his stepdaughter and countless other friends and loved ones.  Paul and Jane are both in their mid-40s.

Although I don’t know Paul well, I’ve known Jane for about 16 years and in that time, she has had more than her fair share of troubles.  In her early 20s she decided to search for her birth mother, who had given her up for adoption when she was born, and when she found her, discovered she was a long-term alcoholic, and her birth sister was a heroin addict.  She forged some sort of relationship with both of them, though as addicts often are, they were extremely selfish and needy.  The birth mother died of liver disease around five years ago, and Jane went to be with her for her last days (there was nobody else, as the sister was in prison on drugs-related offences).

Jane has also suffered two ectopic pregnancies (the second of which was horribly mis-managed by the NHS and resulted in the loss of her second tube and with it the chance of a much longed-for second child), and underwent quite extensive fertility treatment in between the ectopics to have her daughter.

Her first marriage was emotionally abusive and the subsequent divorce traumatic – getting back on her feet took her a while.

Last summer, only weeks after Paul’s brain tumour was discovered, Jane’s adoptive mother was diagnosed with cancer, and Jane nursed her until her death in November, all the while having to deal with Paul’s incurable disease as well.

And now this.

Sometimes, there just aren’t any words.

Life can be so cruel.

Life is so very short.

Every day, every hour, every moment of happiness with our loved ones is truly a gift.

Sometimes we don’t remember that enough, sometimes we are not thankful enough just for normality.

I pray that Paul is able to find some peace, and I pray that those he leaves behind can find the strength to rebuild their lives and, in time, find their new normal.



13 thoughts on “Life Is Cruel

  1. This is a post I can sympathsise with having just lost my uncle and with so little time to prepare for his passing.

    Sending my thoughts to you and your friends.

    Victoria x

  2. Life is cruel, My best friends Sister lost her Husband with cancer ( miss diagnosed last year and by the time the error was deteced it was terminal) he was told he would not see Christmas and her to get a bloody good Lawyer, he did not see Christmas , and then she lost her Mum the day after boxing day, what the heck can you say!
    so sad, your story broke my heart imagine knowing you would never see your loved ones again! x Dawn

  3. How very very sad. Words can not express how I feel. Life is such shit for some people and I pray that your friend and family can somehow come to terms with the awful future they will have to face. I also hope that Paul is able to draw comfort from somewhere. My thoughts and prayers to them.

  4. Gosh Caroline that is terribly sad. I hope they all feel loved.

    As a woman told me on the phone once, when she called my office after I wrote to her, after the death of her husband.

    “remember to tell them you love them”, this is my everyday mantra. and my new outlook. I work with the ladies for 8 hours a day. I have sneaked valentines cakes to work. and am going in early to decorate all of our desks. I am gonna spread some love. They are my work family. if it makes them smile I did a good job.

  5. I am still so shocked reading this….. piling it all on the poor woman – I wonder how her spirit will cope especially when he passes. I hope she has a damn good support network/grieving counsellor for when the inevitable happens. I have heard that hospices can really help those left behind in this respect. Poor woman – just can’t imagine….

  6. Some people have such sadness in their lives it seems absolutely unfair and we struggle to imagine how they cope. I hope your friend finds comfort from those around her and strength to go on.

  7. I have hard such brilliant things about UK hospices. Here I volunteered to do some hospice work but then found it is not in a specific building as such but you just travel to peoples’ houses and care for them there and I thought that might be a bit too personal compared to an actual hospice location. NOt sure that makes sense but it just unnerved me more than the setting I imagined.
    I did not know that in UK they depended on charity donations.

  8. So much heartache for one person seems so incredibly unfair.
    It makes you realise just how precious our life is and those we have around us too.
    Lisa x

  9. So many people know somebody who has or has had brain tumours… my own brother, two cousins and a couple of friends. Sadly, one cousin has died but the other I know are responding well. Can I suggest Help Harry Help Others? Harry died last October at a cruelly young age but he set out to raise money for brain cancer research by making and selling bracelets. Just google it to find the link.

  10. Pingback: Friendship & Misinterpretation | What's Happening At My House

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