Monday, October 8, 2012

Sage advice for illness or loss

Today I am going to quote a piece of prose written by my husband in 2009, in the thick of the cancer journey.  It offers sage advice that I want to pass along from someone living with cancer to most anyone who has no idea how to handle a person with this or any serious diagnosis.

What I Need

Be Available.
Don't disappear.
Don't ask me how things are.
Just ask what is going on.
Don't say "If there is anything
you need, let me know."
because if you don't
have a cure, I don't think
you'll be able to deliver.

Paul Hakan

I want to say treat the person as a person not as a disease.  They have not changed but thier situation has.  They are still your brother, sister, friend, etc. and they still want to laugh, watch silly movies, gossip, play music, enjoy a meal, hang out just like before.  A few considerations might have to be made now but just be with them.

On a different note from me...It has been a 27 months since Paul left this physical world and it has been a journey to test every atom that makes me.  I have been broken, ripped apart, lost, grief stricken, strong, courageous beyond my own understanding, renewed, grateful, and, yes, happy again.
I want to quote one of my pieces of prose from 2009, in the thick of the cancer journey, that rings so true for my journey since July 2010, when Paul passed, to present.  Please share with anyone you know that has lost a spouse.

My Imagination Does Not Sleep

My imagination does not sleep.
I dream of the future, inserting
talked-about plans and new beginnings.
The past does not live in this place.

The sun rises here and only sets
over an ocean of deep blue,
its waves crashing, singing to me.

I can feel it in my soul
and picture it in my mind.
Tomorrow, next week, next year
is beautiful and happy.

I am the change that I want to see in our world.
I have painted us a masterpiece.

Keri Hakan

The past does not live in my new life but it damn sure influences it.  New beginnings have been scary, exciting and sparked my imagination for the dreams of my future along with the influence of my past experiences.  Those experiences made me who I am.  I did paint Paul and I a masterpiece and now it is mine, I own it in his honor.  Living my life "as if" everyday like I mean it honors us both.

These pieces of prose are published in an anthology of poetry of prose titled My Tree Called Life Writing & Living Through Serious Illness available through Turning Point in Kansas City.

1 comment:

  1. Your husband's words are very appropriate. Those of us with cancer are still who we were before cancer. Please treat us as such.