Sunday, January 04, 2009

Make the year a little brighter....

This picture made me think about how life is.  It's full of reflection, chaos in places and calm and quiet in others.  There are parts in sunshine and others in deep shadow.  There are reactions to actions that we often don't see without looking carefully and closely and so often this all happens in the short time it takes to throw a handful of stones - only seconds. And once the water calms down again, it will look all the same - but its not.  There are a few more heavy stones in this pond.   This is life.

Something really touched my heart and soul recently....... You know how Christmas and the new year makes us thankful for so much, pleased that we got through another year and also brings to mind the too many people that are no longer with us?  Well..... I know that the support boards and the people who walked with me through the first years of Steven's diagnosis literally saved my sanity.   A good few of them are firm friends now but even those that have moved on, like I have in so many ways, and with whom I don't have regular contact, well, they were and always will be a very big part of my life and who I am now.

So, what happens when you have lots and lots of contact, help, handholding, support from the boards and then the person you are caring for passes away?  Not only does one lose that person, but the support - your 'other life' - disappears too!  This is what happened recently...  I had emailed someone who had lost her husband to leukemia not too long ago and she mentioned that I was the first CML friend that she had heard from in ages!  That really made me sad.  Not angry at all - just sad. 

People that have lost someone, don't need to lose more than they already have, it won't upset them to hear from the people who were there before that person died, they want to hear that others still think of the person that has gone, they need the contact - they need to taper off from the contact like we all do in some way.   I know that if all that help, the support and the love shown to me from so many people just stopped, I know that that would be like losing even more.  The emptiness must be big enough without this loss too.

I don't know that I am saying it right - but I do think that maybe we should all just keep in contact with those that we got to know so well through common fear and hope, just that little bit longer, until they are ready to let go and move on.  Maybe??  

Maybe now is a good time to email someone of last year that lost someone - to wish them a gentle year and to let you know that you still think of them and the person they lost.  Email, call or write to someone that you have been in contact with before, someone that helped you or who you were there to support - tell them what it meant or means - let them know they still count, even if you don't have regular contact.

Sometimes it's not easy to talk to someone who has lost someone they love.  It's not easy to know what to say and we are scared of hurting them or making them cry.  But I don't think that letting them know something you remember, letting them know you still care, laughing at a common memory or even sharing a pain - remembering the person that has died, I don't think this would hurt that person.  I think not contacting would hurt more.   Not talking about the person that has died, makes them 'more gone' if thats possible and makes one more isolated in the pain of getting through the many 'firsts' of the new life without them.

Sadly, we all know someone that can do with this type of contact.... lets make this year a little brighter...

with love and light
and thanks - so many thanks!


bigD said...

Thanks Annie. I think what you have said is very true. It is hard to know what to say to people who have lost a loved one, but, I have most often found that they want and need to talk about what they are going through and it is helpful for them to be able to talk about their loved one. Knowing that their loved one is remembered and that their memory is carried in the heart of others for a lifetime can be an important part of the healing process.

I have been reading your blog for a little while now and I have found many other CMLers through your blog, which has helped me immensely as I make this journey with my son who was diagnosed in May 2008. Thank you Annie for being so positive. Your insight and your photos are wonderful.

bigD said...

Hi Annie,
Thank you for your comments on my blog. I appreciate your kind thoughts and words. Do you have an email where I can contact you? Still waiting for the test results and the doctor pushed Nick's appointment back to Thursday. So we wait...thank you again.