Sunday, November 14, 2010

Processing someone else's pain.

This week I received news of death... Twice.

First I had a letter arrive in the mailbox from my former landlady in Calgary. Her husband, my former landlord, had passed away in October.
I lived with Helen and Fraser for three years. They lived upstairs and I lived in their basement suite. Both were special to me and my heart hurt when I read Helen's letter. I am thankful that I was able to visit with them this past year.

The other news came via email today. My godmother lost her husband to cancer. Here is a woman who has prayed for me for 42 years of my life. She is the one who held me in her arms when I was an infant. Now 42 years later I wish I were close to her do that I can embrace her in her time of sorrow.

Death is inevitable. But that doesn't mean the journey through the valley is any easier.
I wonder about something. Are hugs enough? That seems to be all I am capable of these days. Words are empty, understanding isn't specific enough. How do I process these events? And more importantly, how do I allow others to process their pain in their own way?

At work, the boys are raising money for prostate cancer research. I am not on the bandwagon for supporting cancer research. I see it as useless. As long as this country makes more money on cancer and it's treatment, a cure will not emerge. But maybe for the people raising money, it is a way to walk through their own grief. I am not the only one who has lost a loved one to cancer. I am just experiencing the journey much differently though.

My friend, Carla is loosing her Dad to cancer. How will I help her through this process? She will hurt differently. That is a given. I just hope my hugs and my shallow level of understanding will be of some comfort for her.

1 comment:

Lori said...

Don't ever underestimate the power of a hug.