It was my intention to write something entirely uplifting and joyful today.
Then came another phone call.
Yet another family has been visited by the bastard cancer. Yet another child is thrust into the new world of metastasizing ignorance and fear. Yet one more holiday season will be lost in the fog of memory as these people struggle to understand and think the unthinkable.
In the past year friends near and far have been revealed. People from whom we've not heard in years have reached out to share with us their stories of victory and battle, their tales of woe and disbelief, their reflections on life and death and the great mystery that brings this dread disease to visit so many.
I wish more than anything that we had answers for those who ask for comfort and insight. All we can do is direct them to actions that have sustained us during the past 13 months and hope for them that similar acts of kindness will befall them. At the same time we understand that the various stages of this journey bring insight that one might otherwise never achieve. If you choose to pursue, investigate and embrace those insights in your awareness benefit can arise. Out of the depths will rise bright lights of comprehension.
Recently (regular readers will know of my life with clinical depression) I decided to give group therapy another shot. My first experience of pyscho-therapy was a profound disappointment as I never once made a meaningful connection with the individual who purportedly could help guide me through the minefield of reflection and remembrance. This new experience however has brought me some hope. My first one-on-one with the therapist was remarkable in that he quickly and sensitively sussed my primary issues. Further, while not putting me at ease, he enlisted my confidence through his common- sense approach.
While I have many miles to travel already I am able to more readily identify those things which cause me to spiral and I am learning, in the words of Carl Jung, that "The word happiness would lose its meaning if it were not balanced by sadness."
Coming to this place requires diligence and the support of those around you. And that is where we come to the more joyful and uplifting portion of this posting.
Jung also wrote, "The most intense conflicts, if overcome, leave behind a sense of security and calm that is not easily disturbed. It is just these intense conflicts and their conflagration which are needed to produce valuable and lasting results."
So, while none of us would voluntarily step forward and say, "Yeah, bring on some of that cancer trip 'cause I've a good feeling of what may come out the other end", embracing its reality and sharing your thoughts can and will lead us to better ground. We hope. And should the worst arise, we shall be prepared and ready as possible to embrace that difficult journey as well in the knowledge that we have the spiritual insight and fortitude to arise from the ashes.
As we approach Christmas, I am so incredibly thankful that my darling Katie is with us. I am so grateful that this year in a house decorated to the nines by Katie that my family of two precious boys and a beautiful woman will remember this year's celebrations while consigning Christmas 2011 to the foggy banks of memory not easily retrieved.
To those who have phoned with question about their loved ones all I can finally say is that your love, no matter how expressed, will always be the greatest medication and treatment possible. Blessings.
"As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being."