As many of you know, our dear Jewel
was diagnosed with cancer last fall. Given her personal strength ~ including a feisty sex kitten attitude ~ we all expected an ugly but epic battle through which she would be the victor. "Cancer is a bitch," we joked, "But Jewel is a bigger one."
We worried about what she might lose or how she might otherwise be negatively be affected, but our Jewel would continue to shine. She would because she always has. She's survived abuse, illness, a broken back, courts, and being female in this world. She's battled more than 'a broken heart', but survived a heart shattered by family & friends who betrayed her ~ and she went on to shine again and again. Her heart broken & mended by foster children, lovers, and friends, she shone as a jewel, our Jewel ~ our friend, adviser, writer, critic, editor, mentor, and adopted mother (I call her every Mothers' Day). She survived before and would do so again because we need her. She has to.
None of us was prepared for the news last week that (today) Jewel would move to hospice. None of us was prepared for the word "terminal."
None of us can bring ourselves to say what that really means.
Speaking as I have with the regular sex kittens who write here, our collective grief is vast, huge & deep, and varied. We are each stuck in stages of our own grief processes, rendering us speechless. Or can't-stop-bitching pissy. In a few cases, drunk. Personally, I vacillate between the profound sorrow & helplessness of an orphan and the wild rage of a warrior seeking god so I can kick his ass.
But, as Libby said to me, "She's not gone yet; and we can't speak of her as if she is."
Such true words, and I want to honor them. I want you to honor them.
As I told everyone I called to break the news, "I want you to have the opportunity to tell her how she's touched your life ~ that's all any of us can ask for, to know that we've touched the lives of others."
So I'm asking for you all to let Jewel know how she touched your life. Whatever you write here or send to me I will relay to her, so that she knows how many of us she has touched. Your words will bring her comfort & peace.
Your words will bring those of us grieving some comfort too.
And whether you know Jewel or not, take the time ~ make the time ~ to tell those that have touched your life that they've done so. Let your words bring comfort & peace to those who deserve them now.
With much affection,