We are currently watching the television series ‘This is Us’. We are loving it. I adore the characters, especially Kate. Her facial expressions and her embodiment of emotions are so real. It’s also good for me to gain insight into the ongoing struggle/battle for obese people to lose weight. To try to change your mindset, to stick to your decisions, to cope with your failures and disappointments. In Kate’s story it is about her weight, however we all have our individual stories, our individual struggles and battles.
I have recently been dealt with some very sad news. I can say ‘we have’ though, because there are many of us that share a friendship with this incredible person. The stark reality of a ‘nearing end’ to a very special person’s life due to cancer. In this case, ‘the end’ has now been predicted in terms of relative time, and an expectancy of life quality and energy levels – based on the current evidence or results and experience in this field of cancer. The reality is, we are all facing a ‘nearing end’ on a daily basis. We will all die and people are dying every day. For some of us there will be clear signs that the end is approaching and at times ‘the end’ is very sudden, without any warnings or any symptoms. At times there is a freak accident or a terrible incident. As a friend of mine said, ‘thank goodness that we do not know what lies around the corner’… however there can also lie such beauty, depth and opportunity in having some sort of an idea, an estimation of time. That can help us (the dying person and the loved ones) prepare, perhaps being able to change ‘unfinished business’ to ‘finished business’, being able to acknowledge people, things, places….to use the time to tell one another what we mean to each other, to express our love and gratitude and to understand that the person will stay alive in our hearts forever.
A side of me feels guilty for writing this, because how can I possibly know how I would feel in that situation. I don’t have a clue, I can only hope. I hope that I would feel at peace, that I would feel loved and held and that I will still be able ‘to hold’. I can only go by what I have seen and experienced through other very close people in my life. Through my grandfather (he was diagnosed with leukaemia and we were able to say goodbye), through Bernice who found stillness, peace and contentment ‘with being’ and ‘not doing’ in her final year of life. She told me how she just enjoyed sitting under a tree in the garden, watching her cousin and niece play, listening to the birds, looking at the flowers – she told me how she found complete peace in those moments, something that she was not able to do before.
In an episode of ‘This is Us’, Randal’s father sat outside on the steps, looking up at the sky and Kevin’s ‘stupid’ girlfriend asked him how it feels to die. He then spoke about how he tried to capture and hold onto all the beautiful things in his life, e.g. his granddaughter falling asleep on his chest and how he could feel her breathing; when he heard someone sing and trying to hold onto the beauty of that voice; the sunsets… However he said how quick it all goes, how it was all too fast and how he was not able to ‘hold onto all the beautiful moments’, that they seemed to slip by so fast.
It struck a chord with me. We say it so often and we hear it so often. However, how many of us are genuinely ‘present’ in daily beautiful moments, daily precious experiences? I don’t want to try to ‘catch up’ in the last year of my life, I want to do it NOW. Every day.
How will I take accountability for this?
Judit gave me a gratitude journal for Christmas. It was one of the best gifts of my life. That Gratitude Journal changed 365 days of my life and I realised that there was a multitude of gratitude’s every day in my life, even on my worst days, even on my most terrible, grumpy days where it felt at times as if everyone and everything was against me, even myself.
I will start a journal ‘Precious Moments’ – today. The cover will be the face of my wonderful friend and I will dedicate my journal to all her teachings, her love and our wonderful friendship that will last forever. I love you and I appreciate you. I love laughing with you, especially when both of our inner ‘child’ comes out, I love having fun with you, I love being serious with you, I value the trust we have in each other and how we can confide in each other. Thank you for opening my eyes to the beauty of ceramics, art and sculpture. I would never look at a sculpture and not see you in some shape of form. Thank you for opening your arms and for folding your arms around me – I have adored you from the first moment I have met you.
Now you have awakened me to precious moments, to slowing down life, to slowing down race. Right now I want to be, I want to feel and I want to be present in life itself.
With all my love, Suz x