I have seen a lot of death. Sometimes it's quick like a bunny, others it's slow and heavy molasses. Sometimes death is like a spider that weaves it's web when you're not looking, one moment there is nothing and when you look again there's an intricate shroud that covers everything. Pop's cancer was a spider.
Just before our trip to Arizona, D's dad had a fall. He was on his daily walk and fell in front of a doctor's house in his neighborhood. Ambulance, hospital, fractured pelvis. More concerning, a mass in his chest that was discovered incidentally. Surgery. Mass, and the portion of lung it was attached to, were removed successfully. Pops was in good spirits and was eager to go home. Biopsy. The mass was a malignant tumor. Prognosis. Pops had a rare form of cancer which mainly occurs in children. The doctors were baffled and unsure of treatment. They predicted that he only had 3-6 months of life left. The cancer had spun its web when we weren't looking.
When Pops was first diagnosed I wondered if it would have been better if the cancer would have gone undetected. If he hadn't of fallen would ignorance have been better? In hindsight I think we were fortunate. Despite the incredible hardship it is to face death, knowing gave us the opportunity to face it together as a family. D's sister was able to come out from Sweden. D and his brother spent much more time by his side. Pops got to see his family and know he was loved.
Last Sunday we took the chiquita over for a visit. Since the diagnosis Sunday visits have become routine. Pops lost his bearings occasionally but he would snap back into coherence with gentle reminders. He even got excited when offered a peanut butter cookie and ate it eagerly.
Monday night Pops died. The shroud was complete.
Once again we are grieving while the world continues on. The man I knew was gentle, clever, funny and sweet. He shall be missed, and will always be loved.