The Aftermath


So, the worst week of my life is over. And now I’m dealing with the aftermath. It’s been ugly. 

My anxiety got quite the workout last week as I found out my beloved aunt has terminal brain cancer. In our best guess, she has about a year to live. 

This woman was a second mother to me when I was a little girl. I practically grew up on their ranch which was just across the oil road from our own feedlot. I spent a lot of time with her when I was a kid. 

And I don’t know how my cousins are dealing with this. Again. They lost their dad a few years ago to a heart attack while he was fishing. And now this. My cousins are like my siblings because we were so close growing up. My entire family is already in mourning. And it’s really hard to watch. 

Death doesn’t bother me. I know that sounds morbid, but let me explain. I’ve never been scared of death. I’m more scared of dying. Considering what my aunt has gone through in the past few years, after her initial cancer diagnosis, she’s come to terms with her situation. The chemo and radiation were so hard on her. And it bothered me to see her so weak and frail because she has always been a tough ranching lady. 

She knows she’s dying. But she has refused chemo and radiation therapy from now on. I respect her decision because it’s her decision. And it’s her quality of life that’s important. She seems happier now than she has in years. When she passes, I’ll know she lived out her life on her terms. And I’ll be happy that she’s not in pain any longer. 

As for an afterlife, that’s a different discussion that I’ll save for another day. 

But, for now, I hope my aunt is surrounded by people who love her. I hope she lives out the last days of her life in the way she wants. And I will forever be grateful to this woman for helping to give me such wonderful memories during my childhood.