(written 3 years ago but certain events reminded me of it today… During hard times I think its important to remember, there’s nothing more binding than humanity and our compassion for one another’s struggles…)
We had dinner the other night with a friend whose wife has had 7 miscarriages; they can get pregnant but it just won’t “stick,” so to speak. My heart aches for her. To experience hope, joy, and then loss, repeatedly, breaks a person. She feels powerless. And then I thought about it; many of us have a commonality. No matter the affliction- epilepsy, infertility, cancer, etc., we struggle with a sense of deficiency and uncertainty. What will make us whole, make us healthy, make us “okay?” And the answer is often, nothing and everything at the same time. And in our desperate attempts to gain power over our disorder/disease, we share the emotions: Diagnosis- shock, then heartbreak. Treatment- hope, then disappointment, then maybe hope again. The Process- fear (will this work?), anxiety (can I maintain?). Realization- (for some) this is permanent. Adjust. The treatment and the process may be different, but the roller coaster is the same, and in that way, we can empathize with each other. I could never say, “I completely understand where you’re coming from,” to someone who has cerebral palsy, autism, cystic fibrosis, cancer, etc, but I can say, we share a thread- one that prays for comfort, hopes for change and longs for a cure… and that can be pretty powerful.