Accepting Life’s Challenges

It amazes me how some people are so accepting of life’s challenges, determined to enjoy every day as it comes no matter what else they must endure. A dear friend has been battling cancer, and after a crisis that entailed a visit to the hospital, she was told she has three to six months. She and her husband are accepting and cheerful, happy and grateful for each day given them, so I can do no less. When I get to see her, I too will be cheerful, happy, and grateful for the time together, will feel privileged to considered a part of the family, but beneath the cheer, my heart will be breaking.

Words from “Hurt,” a song written by Trent Reznor for the band “Nine Inch Nails,” but also poignantly sung by Johnny Cash keep going around in my head: Everyone I know goes away in the end.

Barring any unforeseen problems, traumas, accidents, illnesses, I could live many more years, perhaps decades. The problem with a long life is that everyone does go away in the end. There are always new people to meet (at least, I hope there always will be; after all, the nonagenarian woman I take care of has met me, and we’ve become friends), but that does not mitigate my sorrow for those who “go away.”

Oddly, this is the first friend whose death I will have to deal with. Most friends I lose go away in a less permanent way, or I go away.

But I don’t want to think about that. Like her and her husband, I want to focus on the happiness of the day. I want to be grateful for the joy she’s brought into my life, to be happy for the time we still have, to be accepting of life’s challenges.

But there’s still that poor, aching heart of mine to deal with and the tiny voice in the back of my mind that whispers, “It’s so not fair.”


What if God decided S/He didn’t like how the world turned out, and turned it over to a development company from the planet Xerxes for re-creation? Would you survive? Could you survive?

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2 Responses to “Accepting Life’s Challenges”

  1. Uthayanan Says:

    Pat you said life challenges !
    I am only sharing with dead challenges.
    My father died suddenly I have no chance to attend to his funeral.
    It is same for my 28 years old sister I think it was suicide but I have no medical declarations. The same reason I cannot attend her funeral like my father.
    My mother suddenly died at the operation table in Canada she thought it was not a important operation so I didn’t know about the operation.
    But fortunately i managed to attend her funeral in Canada.
    The three dead’s I have no chance to prepare or to accept the life challenges.
    But my wife’s departure she went away in three months of cancer strangely I have no clear information from the doctor that she will leave me in three months.
    So before I can realize she went away brutally.
    Now I am very calm not depressed but to live and survive everyday is a life challenge.
    I never afraid to die. But I have seen In my wife’s eyes she never wanted to leave from this world. As Pat said “It’s so not fair.”
    I have informed my wife’s cousin the only person who keep with me every day contact from the day of my wife’s departure if something happened to me like
    Covid 19 I have no intention to going to hospital I prefer to leave this world peacefully at my home with dignity without any fear and with any regret to leave this world.
    Every person has his own challenge and desire to live in this world.
    After my wife’s departure I don’t know weather it is my challenge to survive as “Accepting Life’s Challenges” honestly I don’t know. May be Pat knows !

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      For now, yes, it’s your challenge simply to survive, to do what you are already doing — grieving and trying to take care of yourself, There will come a time when grief for those who died will not be the main focus of your life. Then there will be other challenges.

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