I have been reading some of my earliest posts. I have no memory of any of this. It is like reading it for the first time. Well actually it likely is the first time. It is good to compare my thoughts then to now.
I look back and realize, now this may sound really crazy, but all my medical conditions have been good for me. How can 4 (now 5 heart attacks, heart failure, brain tumor, epilepsy, diabetes…. possibly be good for you? Each has given me the opportunity to grow, maybe in some cases it would be more accurate to say forced me, to grow as a spiritual person. I have always had my own very strong beliefs in God, Jesus and the teachings of the Bible. I am not sure how to describe it but the beliefs were always there, but maybe buried a little to deeply inside. Through all this in the past few years, I have turned within and brought those feelings more to the surface. It is for this reason I consider it all to have been good for me. Why did it take such drastic happenings for me to do this? I think I have become a better, stronger person spiritually and mentally, but on the flip side the health paid the price. I can’t help but feel it was a fair trade.
I have written a lot about talking to and being around the dying. I am still surprised, almost daily, at how uncomfortable people are with this. But, I shouldn’t be all I have to do is look back at my own mind set a few years ago. I didn’t avoid, but I certainly, didn’t make a point of visiting. My reason was the fear, the fear I might say or do something that may upset the person. I felt they had enough to deal with already, the fear and stress of dying, can’t be easy to deal with. I was afraid of compounding or adding to their stress by saying something stupid. Has, my attitude ever changed now. I look back and think, man, I was so selfish and uncaring. I realize it was MY fear that kept me away. It was a fear of making myself feel bad or guilty IF I said something inappropriate.
There was also a second element, none of this have I realized, until I started this journal. The second was a feeling of inadequacy. We all want to help or at least ease the burden of those we care about. I thought I should be going in with some “wise” words to help put them more at ease or change the tragedy of their “plight”.
So there it is, I mean what good could my visit possibly do, I couldn’t think of anything “wise” to say and at the say timed feared saying the wrong thing.
I rationalized it, with the thought, I was possibly sparing them, but it was sparing me. How selfish was I? It is natural to want to spare your loved ones or anyone, undo, pain or stess. Fear is a terrible thing and a very sad thing in this context. It becomes a crippling fear that robs so many of so much.
What changed my attitude? Obviously, knowing I am dying has had a big impact on me. I mean, WOW, I am dying. When the realization sinks in those 3 little words, “I am Dying”, it changes, your life, your thought processes, your ideas. It just changes you and with luck for the better. I came to the realization that yes my thinking has changed, but I still am the same in day to day life, within my physical limitations.
I still enjoy visiting with friends and family and doing the things I did before. In that regard nothing has changed. Please don’t deprive me of those things by avoiding me, or by being so nervous and on edge during a visit that we can’t really relax and enjoy it. Take a deep breathe and relax, I have.