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It's a touchy subject, I know. No one talks about it, no one tells you how to cope. It's hard when someone you care so much about is hurting and you can't physically do anything to help their pain. Back in October of 2015 my aunty was diagnosed with a terminal illness and given 3-5 years to live. I want to talk about how I learned to come to terms with this as best as I could.
Now I know this isn't going to help everyone, but if it makes even one person feel more at ease, then I've done what I wanted to do. Most of the time the person who is ill is the one people are extremely concerned about, obviously. What happens when the person who just received an expiration date on their life has chosen to live on and enjoy the time they have and you still can't fathom the idea of a world without them? I didn't understand how a person could still be so full of happiness after their world was torn down around them. I tried to put on a happy face and be there for her and talk about her progress over the years, but the 3 year mark was approaching slowly and it was all that was on my mind.
All I thought about was how my grandma was going to feel, she's losing a child. My mom, she's losing her only sister. I would relate it to myself, to my sister. How I would feel to lose her, someone so dear to me. It broke my heart.
That was my problem. I was relating everything to myself, how I would feel, how I would react. I wasn't allowing myself to even try to comprehend her point of view. Yes she was given an end date, but she wasn't letting it affect her quality of life and how she perceived the world. She was happy. Something that I wasn't, and I'm not even the one slowly fading away. It's hard when you know you are going to be there to deal with the aftermath when they are gone, but try not to think of it as a bad thing. As people say "they are in a better place," as cliché as it sounds it's true. They will be in a place of no pain, whether you believe in heaven or what feels like a long sleep. It's still a place with no pain, which is all she is feeling right now. If she has come to terms with it, why can't I? It's not like she has given up on life, it's not like she isn't trying to live her best days. She has just learned to be okay with the fact that she knows when she is going to go, and that its shorter then most. She still has a strive for life, a jump in her step.
When the time is up, it will be sad. Heartbreaking. Keep their way of thinking in your head. Know they are there. They are not forever gone because they live in your head. Grieving is important and there's no right or wrong way to do it, as long as you aren't harming yourself of others then let it happen. Remember you are allowed to grieve on your own time and don't let anyone take that away from you.