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I lost it when Seth Rollins did

Roman Reigns, remarkably enough, held it together while announcing to the world that his leukemia is no longer in remission and he will be leaving WWE to fight the disease once more. It wasn’t until he was met on the stage by Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins, two of his very best friends, that he broke down in tears as they embraced him.

It was Rollins’ tears that got me.

That pain is visceral, the kind that seeps into your bones and takes over your entire body. Whatever comes next is what comes next and there is nothing you can do about it. You just let it happen. I know because I’ve been there multiple times in my own life, like when my mother came home and told my brothers, my sister, and I that my father had throat cancer, or later in life when my brother called and told me our oldest brother had testicular cancer.

Each time, I broke down sobbing. As a child, I ran to my room and buried my face into a pillow and soaked it with my tears. As an adult, my then girlfriend let me soak her t-shirt at its shoulder as she comforted me. “He will beat this,” she said, just like my mother said before her. I could barely hear those words let alone comprehend them. Even if I could have, I wouldn’t have believed them. Not in that moment.

In that moment, it felt like the world had ended.

I don’t know where I heard this but I once read that “hell is seeing the people you love in pain and not being able to do anything about it.” That’s the agony you see in Rollins in this video, the agony you can feel within yourself, because you’ve probably been through it at some point too. The damned thing about it is that it’s not about you, either. It’s about Reigns, and the fight he has ahead of him, and your wish to support that fight and do everything you can, even if that everything is simply being there.

You must go on, though, as the show went on, as it always does. That feels sad, and not right, and it never will, but it’s how it is. It hurts — oh, how terribly it hurts. But you know what? My then girlfriend was right, just like my mother before her. They did surgery on my brother and my father, and they took pieces of them both, but they beat their cancer. Both of them are alive and well today, probably winding down from a hard day’s work at this very moment, and getting ready to go to bed so they can work again tomorrow.

I sure hope to be here when Reigns does the same.

He will beat this.

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