Are you ever tempted to sit down and try and order the pieces of your life?
As you love and care for your sick Loved Ones, do you ever wish you could straighten your hardships out into a coherent narrative, one with a tidy moral and neat conclusion?
Do you feel that if only you had a polished version of your life, it would be a enough to redeem your suffering, because then it would have a purpose?
In short, do you ever neglect your role as a Watcher in order to become ‘Biographer’?
This is what it looks like:
You are often on the look-out for a purpose or a theme behind your Loved One’s suffering, or in day to day occurrences
You have a yearning desire to put each new experience into words so that others can learn
You are tempted to dismiss parts of life which don’t lend themselves to ‘story’
You are drawn to those areas of life which seems just a little bit more dramatic, heroic or exciting
You feel that your life and experiences are wasted if nobody reads about it and learns
I’m going to switch to ‘we’ now, because this is something I am guilty of at times…
Continue reading “How to write about Chronic Illness (Watchers, we are not Biographers)”
If there was a list entitled ‘how to change the world’, Watching wouldn’t be on there.
That, my friends, is the difficult truth.
We cannot validate someone else’s suffering.
I think we all accept this on a surface level, because we know we can’t heal our loved ones. We know we can’t fix the situation. We understand this because we’ve tried.
On a deeper level though, we often still believe that our presence is adding significance to their health struggles. If you think this isn’t true, let me ask you a question:
Whose suffering has the greatest impact, the chronic illness sufferer who collates an inspiring instagram feed or the aged parent who can no longer speak?
Do you believe that ‘seen’ suffering trumps ‘unseen’ suffering?
To do so is dangerous. Here’s why –
Continue reading “Your role in someone else’s suffering is smaller than you think (and that’s okay)”
There’s a reason this post is titled ‘Watching is a privilege’ rather than ‘Watching is easy’.
Am I going crazy?
Following on the heels of the previous post, ‘Watching is hard’, the title above seems incongruous. But be assured, what follows will not cancel out what was written previously.
Watching remains hard, very hard. But I’d like to propose that it is also a privilege. It is an opportunity, and a very unique one. You see, the world around us says that a good and normal life is one full of ease and comfort, luxuries and relational happiness.
That’s all very well, and ideally maybe such a life would be good and normal.
But we know it is not.
Continue reading “Watching is a PRIVILEGE”