On death and hope


The strangest thing happened tonight. The strangest thing, I’m a little scared of writing it. But it is not scary. It is the opposite of scary. So I will write it.

We moved all the furniture in the living rooms around today. It is most satisfactory, I can take pleasure in my house again. But the strange thing. I wasn’t doing anything strenuous, everyone else did that. But I was just putting books back on a shelf, when suddenly I was out of breath, my vision swimming. I had to sit down, and still, it was difficult to breathe, and my lips and hands started tingling.

And I felt, what if I’m dying now? What if the spread in my lungs has been like the bone, and I’m not going to be able to breathe? And the strange thing was, I felt peace. Peace and acceptance. Sorrow not to have said goodbye to loved ones – but a mild kind of sorrow. That might sound heartless. I can imagine if it was me reading that about someone I loved, I’d be angry. But it was a knowing that although they’d be sad, they’d also be okay in the end.

There was surprise too. Surprise – again, a mild kind of surprise, almost a wonder – that maybe I wasn’t going to suffer much after all (you can see by my other posts how geared I am for suffering!). And a sudden knowing that I haven’t ever suffered much at all, no matter how appalling I’ve felt. That basically everything has been all right, and, really, wonderful. I felt almost a disappointment – I could have handled much more than this! (what a weird thing to think).

And there was only a slight regret that I could have done much more. Not with regard to the past. There was not even the slightest feeling that I could have done more with the past; that was a feeling (another surprise), of complete and total satisfaction. The only regret was that I could have done more with the future.

But mainly there was peace and acceptance and calm. And a feeling that everything is all right, (not just okay, but all right), anyway, however it is. For me, for everyone.


So I don’t know how this fits in with the dream (below), and my navigation through the cancer. And my determination to never, never give up.

(I remembered today a Peanuts cartoon, with Lucy and Schroeder, which I have always found inspirational with regard to hope:

Schroeder: Lucy, I wouldn’t marry you unless you were the last girl on earth.

Lucy: Did you say ‘if’ or ‘unless’?

Schroeder: I admit, I said ‘unless’.

Lucy: HOPE!)

The cartoon reminds me of my determination to always have hope.

But somehow, this feeling – it was not giving up, it was not hopelessness. It was just acceptance. Acceptance of what is, whatever it is.

I hope this is encouraging, rather than depressing, to read. It is certainly encouraging to me. The fear and despair I have felt at other times, that one expects to feel, was suddenly absent. Of course if I were wiser, I suppose I’d accept the fear and despair equally with the calm and acceptance. And also if I were wiser, I suppose the calm and acceptance wouldn’t be replaced later by fear and despair again. But right now, I accept that the fear and despair are quite probably going to recur too, from time to time, but even that also, will be all right.

And tonight, anyway, obviously I am still here. I can breathe. How good is that? With very little pain, and with many people I love around me, and my house being home again for me. ‘

Maybe it would have been different if I really had been dying. But in my hopeful way, I think not.


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Filed under Cancer, Spirituality

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