Life in the Slow Lane

Life in the Slow Lane

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Sad Days

I have spent a few days thinking and wondering and wrestling with conflicting thoughts and ideas. I am asking questions with no real answers. I am exploring doubts with no clear resolutions.

On Thursday a terrible thing happened. Nikki, a friend and fellow blogger, lost her life in a car accident. She, a talented doctor, was in Cambodia to help others. This is yet another devastating event for her family as her partner, Sarah, lost her life to cancer last summer.

Nikki and the SWLF Sisters were exceptionally supportive of me during my cancer treatment and have also been incredible cheerleaders to others facing this disease. It is all through their own grief and sadness that they maintained such a positive presence in my life and the lives of others. I am so thankful and grateful for each and every one of them.

When I was diagnosed with breast cancer last year I can’t tell you how many hours I spent wondering how this could have happened to me. I was not brought up in a particular faith so over my life I have had to find my way through established doctrine and alternative faiths in order to create a belief system that makes sense to me. I have wondered if The Universe has a plan for us all and how could my plan include cancer at such a young age? How did that happen? I thought about dying young without fulfilling all my dreams and was very sad and scared. I wondered if I had deserved this fate due to a negative previous life. I know I haven’t been a bad person this time around but maybe I was supposed to be better and that is why I got cancer. Do people deserve the bad things that happen to them? How did that apply to my situation?

I wanted to believe that there was some sort of Divine Justice. I hoped that everything Happened For a Reason. I thought about Destiny versus Freewill. I talked with a minister who is a breast cancer survivor herself and got her thoughts about these questions and this is what she told me.

“Life is not fair and there is no justice. Bad things happen to good people all the time and good things happen to bad people as well. The vast majority of people do not in any way deserve the terrible things that happen to them. This TOTALLY sucks.”

I am paraphrasing most of that but the “sucks” part is verbatim.

So I decided that there is the possibility of experiencing a little bit of everything in The Universe but absolutely no guarantees it will work out how you think it should. Maybe you will get to see Divine Justice occur on Earth in some situations but maybe that judgment happens in another realm out of our view. Or not at all. Maybe some things happen for a reason and maybe some things happen for no reason. Maybe you don’t see the reason right away or you don’t like the reason and block it out. I think EVEREYBODY is destined to have something terrible happen in their life. Some things are worse than others and some people get more than what seems fair but nobody is immune. The freewill part is how you deal with your tragedies. You do have a great deal of control over how you do that.

I admired Nikki so much as she chose the deal with her sorrow by helping those who needed it most. She and The Sisters spread love and support as a way to celebrate Sarah’s life. I saw and learned about grace and generosity from these women and their families. I saw them endeavor to accept what they couldn’t change and do amazing things with what they could.

As time has gone by I have come to realise that if not for my cancer I never would have met Nikki and The Sisters as well as all of you. While I would never think of my cancer as a good thing, good things have come to me as a result of it. It would be foolish for me not to accept and celebrate these aspects of my own difficulties. Maybe they are good reasons for my cancer. Maybe I will see more reasons as time goes on. Maybe not.

I have been eating chocolate in Nikki and Sarah’s honour. I have been thinking about them being together again and this helps a little. Mostly I have once again been made aware of how tenuous life is. How what time we have with the people that we love is such a gift.

I wish so desperately that this accident would have never happened. There is so much I wish I had control over that I don’t. I will shake my head and resist the brutal unfairness of it all. I will question and argue and try to make the puzzle pieces fit in a way that seems logical in My Universe. I will be angry and sad and bitter. For a while. Deep down I know that I have to eventually acknowledge the futility of this and concentrate my energy on things I can change and control. Remain open and receptive to any lessons. Exercise my freewill in a meaningful and powerful way.

I have no way of knowing if this makes sense to anybody reading thus far but I want to close with this; I feel very lucky and blessed to have known Nikki and I will miss her.


alan said...

I met you through them; I met them through's so hard to believe all of this can be happening!

So many awful people in this world that just keep going like the Energizer Bunny, and then this happens...

I will always be grateful to "The Sisters" and Nikki for introducing me to you!

Thinking of you...


Twisteduterus said...

your post made complete sense to me....

When my sister was dying my dad said this. "Whatever happens, happens."

It still makes sense to me. Not that one has to like what happens or give up or accept it fully. Be it goo dor bad, there are just so many events that just happen.

I believe there is a bigger plan and things that happen (good and bad) do happen for a reason though that reason may not be fully visible at the time.

I am sorry for the loss of your friend and those who knew her.

Sharkey said...

This was an excellent post, Stacey, and it made complete sense to me too. I think your search for answers has led you to a good place.

I, too, am comforted by the thought of Nikki and Sarah being together again.

MrsDoF said...

Well-written and insightful, as usual.

Unlike a movie with an ending tied down and loose ends woven back together, we never get all the answers in this life.

My friend Martha will be 97 in July and says she no longer keeps track but believes there's a reason she isn't priviledged to know yet.

Karen said...

Nikki's death seems senseless. It affected me profoundly and I don't even really know SWLF except through reading their comments on other people's blogs. (Nikki left one comment on my blog just before she went to Cambodia, and that small connection was enough for me to be blindsided by what happened.) My heart goes out to people like you who really "knew" Nikki and her SWLF sisters.

stampydurst said...

Kranki-Wow, rough times. Just know that we are all thinking of you (happy thoughts). Hug Yoshi, curl up on the couch, and continue the chocolate eating.

kassi said...

Though hard to understand or conceive, everything happens for a reason. It sounds like you were generously blessed by having this friend in your life...I'm sure that she was blessed by you as well.

snaps79 said...

I read through some blogs to get the full story on what happened. I was shocked. How much tragedy can one family handle? It doesn't make much sense.

Amanda B. said...

I'm so sorry honey. I wish we could all give you a big hug right about now.

Carolyn said...

I'm so sorry about your friend and my best to you and her obviously amazing family.
Thank you for sharing your insights. And please know that you've succeeded in passing on the inspiration down the line to me (thanks). That's something, I think.
Take care.

circe said...

(((big hugs)))


You put it very well, dear.....

spoonleg said...

You have such a good perspective on life. I admire you greatly. As much as you think YOU'VE learned from your cancer experience, I can honestly say that I've learned a great deal as well.

I don't think we're meant to know all the answers to life's uncertainties and unfairness. You're right when you say that how we deal with these situations is what makes all the difference in the world.

kalki said...

I really enjoyed reading your thoughts on this. I think our beliefs are very similar, although I think I would suck at handling tragedy. I agree that it is random and the only thing within our control is how we cope.

You make Nikki proud.

whfropera said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
whfropera said...

what you said cannot be improved upon - bless you.

Squirl said...

Nikki was a very special person. Those in her life were very blessed to have her for what time they could. She certainly left her mark on the world.

I know you're hurting over this. Love and hugs to you.

eclectic said...


Kranki, you have eloquently written exactly what I feel and believe. Thank you for saying it so beautifully!

Sending hugs,

kerri said...

I didn't realize that you knew her, too. I didn't myself, but have been reading about her on various sites. It is clear that she was quite an amazing woman. I am truly sorry for your loss. Hugs to you.

fueltank said...

Hey Kid

We look for meaning and patterns in everything around us; it's what we do as animals. There is beauty and sadness within everyone and everything. Our task to to find it and cherish it, to truly experience that which presents itself to us.

If I didn't have my complete misery (my depression) I would not know the taste of my happiness so keenly. It is a dialectic, each element supporting the other and each needed to set the other in sharp relief.

Your cancer would have been tragic if you had not embraced it and allowed yourself to broaden your life through it. Am I glad you got it? No. But would I change the past? I would not. I have been asked if I would go back and stop the abuse that occured when I was a child. As much as it continues to pain me and haunt my life today, it has contributed to who and what I am. And I am where I want to be, with a woman I love and living the life I think is the best fit for me.

I am not glad that I was abused. But I won't allow that abuse to ruin my life.

The beauty and reason behind Nikki's death will be revealed through what and how those left behind choose to make of it. Knowing you, and the others who hang out here, I am certain that her life and death with be remembered and meaningful. Each of you who carry on cherishing her become part of her, and when that happens she lives forever.

Unusally philosophical for this early in the morning, but the sun is shining and the cats are sleeping.

Giant Drag Kevin Is Gay

Anonymous said...

Kranki, honey, you write this so eloquently. I "met" Sarah last summer through someone else's blog. I couldn't even tell you who that someone else was now. I know that my life is better because of it too. I probably could not list the reasons for knowing this, I simply KNOW it. What has happened has blindsided me too with feelings I never expected. I "met" you through the sisters and my heart goes out to them...and you. You have a beautiful perspective and I love that you are giving yourself time to be angry and sad and also that you know there will be a time to move on and concentrate your energy on things you can do something about. Bravo to you my sweet friend. Not everyone learns this lesson so well. Good work. I've been eating candy too! Thank you for writing so well how I feel too. It has touched me this morning. Peace.

Bucky Four-Eyes said...

That was really beautiful.

What happened only makes sense to me if I look to Nikki and Sarah's faith and believe with them that they are reunited now. Otherwise, I fear I will walk around muttering "Unfair!" forever.

Love and hugs to you, Kranki. I know I haven't been around in a while. Trying to get on some kind of schedule now. :)

Nancy said...

Well said, there are no answers but so many questions to ponder. Life is not fair, but we are all in the game. so we try and live each day as if its our last and that way (I know I will be on my best behavior) just maybe the world would be a better place.

mrtl said...

Beautiful, Kranki.

east village idiot said...

I'm speechless. What a tragedy. I'm very sorry to learn your friend Nikki died.

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