Death, love and teenagers

Today I ran into two artists who I admire greatly, one a musician who is known worldwide and the other a photographer who has photographed the world. Both told me they had cancer; the first was this morning at the coffee shop and the other this evening in the supermarket.
I'm not uncomfortable about sickness or death. I’m quite experienced with both having nursed both my uncle and my mother through sickness and ultimately their deaths.
I find the honesty of people who are faced with life-threatening sickness wonderfully refreshing.
All pretense and bullshit is blurred as the focus zooms on the beautiful sand pouring through hands moments.
Although my day was bookended by the weight of severe illness the bulk of my day was dealing with my own deep grief of letting go of the person I love most in the world.
My son.
He is making choices about his life that no longer include me and although it’s heart breaking to say the least, I need to allow him to make these decisions.
The ache is pouring from me, thick hot tears keep drowning my eyes as the realisation of this monumental moment surfaces over and over again.
17 years ago I fell pregnant and for the first time in my life, I learned to love. The encompassing passion and fierceness didn’t happen overnight. My confidence and comfort about love had been eroded by violence and neglect both in my childhood and in my relationship. I was a bit badly broken and yet this tiny being made me fight like a mad woman to protect him and I did. I left the abuse and started a long long journey into safety.
I can no longer protect him like I did and it’s frightening and I’m scared for him.
Yet, the truth is that he will get hurt and there’s nothing I can ever do to stop that.
Life can be quite painful. It’s just how we deal with the pain that creates and makes us.
I must trust that he will work it all out in his own way, as we all do and as we all must.
And I also take a first step in another direction.
I write.

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