I haven’t treated you to a re-post before. There’s not too much here worth saying twice- but this one is. A wee reminder that in amongst the wrapping and the glitter, the toys and the bling, the universe rolls on. Across the world, and in our circles of family, friends and acquaintances, someone is not feeling joyful. Someone is facing a personal catastrophe. Someone’s world is shifting beyond recognition. Let’s remember to walk with that person, to be there alongside them, to carry tissues. If you are that someone, look round you, know we are there. You are not alone in this.
I’ve built walls,
A fortress deep and mighty
That none may penetrate.
I have no need of friendship; friendship causes pain
It’s laughter and it’s loving I disdain.
I am a rock.
I am an island.
Pretty good lyrics there, Mr Simon, but no way to live a life. I love to singalong to this, bellowing out my independence. A teacher once told me that the lines ‘I have my books and my poetry to protect me’ made her think of me, so I must have been a rather odd 11 year old. (Enough of the ‘no surprise there’ comments…)
No matter how loud, bolshy, reserved and independent we may be, we all need help. We muddle our way through life, dealing with what it throws at us, grappling with the distance between our plans and the reality. We muddle better with other people. They listen, share experience, hold hands, point us in a better direction, help lift some of the load. That’s particularly important when there’s illness in the family. One of the things I’ve found hardest about Herself’s deteriorating health is that it’s the first challenge in life that my mother hasn’t been able to be there for me. She can’t help me cope with the loss of her. We hug and hold hands. I can’t climb on to the bed beside her anymore. I’m in bits and she can’t even tell me to go and wash my hair and I’ll feel better. She can’t tell me anything. I have to figure it out for myself. I don’t want to be a grown up anymore.
But it is what it is, and I need to gather support around me. So do you, whatever is going on in your life. We all need our families and friends. We may have bloggy buddies, colleagues, the local football team, mates from the pub, or the Genteel Ladies’ Afternoon Sewing Club- whatever the networks are, we need to use them.
This week I was at a PSP support group meeting. A group of us struggling to deal with the loss of a loved one, either because of bereavement or because the loved one is still affected by PSP. Former carers, long term carers, the newly diagnosed, all muddling through, all reaching out and supporting each other. A specialist nurse was there along with the local worker, talking research and medication, and providing much needed reassurance. These meetings are about sharing information, tips and hugs. Reducing isolation, talking about dark days, laughing. Dealing with the challenge that the anticipated future is not what we would have hoped- either in length or in quality. Giving people a chance to tell their stories. Preparing us all for the time when there’s nothing left to do. Giving us the strength to be able to sit there, empty handed, when we’d rather run away with our fingers in our ears yelling ‘lalalalalala’ and not deal with what’s happening.
Whatever is going on for you and yours- you are not alone in this.