Expect the Unexpected | Being the Comforter

I feel like there could be a series here, though I’m not sure what the other posts might be.  Guess you’ll just have to stay tuned…

So I’m sure that most people think that when someone is diagnosed with cancer, they are devastated, an emotional wreck. Now, that is one possibility, and there’s nothing wrong with that.  And we tend to think that as a friend or relative, it’s our job to comfort them.

Tonight, I was watching the Hawaii Five-O episode from last week. Carol Burnett was guest starring, and she had just been diagnosed with a brain tumor. As she told her family of her diagnosis, I was instantly taken back to a year ago. With only a very few exceptions, by the time I told anyone I had cancer, I had cried my tears.  I knew what needed to be done. I had turned off my emotions and I felt like I had as much control of the situation as was earthly possible. I was surprised at how often I found myself, dry-eyed, hugging and comforting my teary-eyed friends.  Seeing it play out on TV reminded me that these friends were taken by surprise by my news.  They hadn’t had the time to cry their tears, and they hadn’t been with me in the doctors’ offices to hear their reassurances. They felt helpless and were looking to me for reassurance, they wanted to hear me say that I’d be ok.  As strange as it felt when I hugged that first crying friend, I quickly realized that it was normal.  It never bothered me to hug and reassure my friends, in fact, it was probably a good exercise for me to hear myself say over and over again that I would be ok.  Because even though I felt like I had things under control most of the time, I could probably use a little reassurance, too.

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