I Have a(n Emotional) Confession to Make
Have you ever had a thought you regretted having because you knew it was a bad one–an inappropriate one? Has an emotion ever flushed over you that caused yet another feeling like shame? I had that experience several months ago and was recently reminded of it.
Last Monday, September 14, Patrick Swayze passed away. “Yeah, I heard that. That was sad, but what does that have to do with you?” you may be wondering. I’ll tell you.
Swayze was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer a few months before my brother was. We talked about him often. My entire family, including my brother, watched his interview with Barbara Walters in January. My brother, mother and I talked about it on the phone. Swayze was beating the disease that has a 4 percent survival rate beyond two years and so, it seemed, was my brother.
The next time I heard someone mention Patrick Swayze, though, and saw his face on television and in pictures after Saturday, February 7, the day my awe-inspiring brother passed from life to death, I was jealous of him. And angry. He was alive and my brother wasn’t.
So when I read the headline that the famed actor had passed away Monday, I was embarrassed by the feelings that had flushed over me in months past. Of course I didn’t wish Swayze harm. My grief was feeling for me. And my grief then quickly allowed me to feel true empathy for his wife and those who love him most.
Tears are pouring from my eyes as I type. This is maybe the second time I’ve attempted to write anything about my brother. I’ve wanted to, but it hasn’t been the time. And still now it’s not time. But after Swayze’s passing, I felt compelled to confess. It’s good for the soul, they say.