Monday, February 11, 2013

Feeling Free When You Are Terminally Ill

I vividly recall visiting what seemed to me to be an elderly lady, in a hospital when I was in my mid twenties.

The dear lady's face was a mask of fear.  It marked my memory for life. I had never even considered that anyone who claimed Christ as her saviour would be so unhappy.  But, I was young, inexperienced in life and naive.

Years went by before I fell from cancer and I have had about 6 years to work things through. I have, I think, grown a lot and learned a lot.

I will be 'front up'. I am most certainly not unhappy and nor do I despair or fear. But that being said - there are some real issues which the terminally ill face.

1. I don't want to hurt my beautiful family and my daughters and granddaughters that I love if and when I should pack my life bags and check out. I worry for them because I love them and don't want them to unduly grieve. That is called parental love.

2. I occasionally wrestle with unfulfilled dreams.  I want to experience life. I want to be able to go into the forest to paint with my dear granddaughter Marley, who is on the road to becoming a good, lifetime artist. I want to see her develop.

3. Then there is the victim element which I had to move through and surrender. My life was marked by  a deep and in some cases unresolved components of personal pain which I believe underscored my illness. I lived for instance through the post traumatic stress syndrome and was hospitalized with terrible depression.

But, the good news is - I have travelled through all this and am free of its pain now. But a nurse who keeps my personal file told my wife and I that these experiences made my about 40% more likely to fall from cancer.

Do I feel free? Yes
Am I happy? Yes

There is freedom in all of this. I won't take this posting any further. I don't mean it to be a 'poor suffering me posting'. Not for a nano second.  Some people may not understand how I could feel freedom from what seems to be a suffering journey. I will spool it out later. But yes it is very possible.

If you are interested I will steer you towards two books. You can take it from there.
1. The bible *it has great messages of delivery from pain in the Book of Psalms
2 Victor Frank's great book, "Man's Search for Meaning' which tells the story of his Auschwitz experience and release at war's end and how he turned his great pain into a life work of helping others in psychotherapy.

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