“Why?” she sobbed, searching my face for answers.
I hugged her tight but no words would come.
For the first time ever, the most verbose person on the planet, has no words.
Right ones, wrong ones, even funny ones.
Why the freaking hell indeed?
How does she, the kindest person I know, make sense of life after struggling for 25 years with one serious illness and then have to suffer the blow of being diagnosed with an even more serious condition?
She is only 18 months older than me. How can it be so?
I may not have the answers for her but I need to find some words.
The right words.
I am sitting here looking out to sea and feeling ...... grateful for where I am in my own life but guilty because someone dear to me is in a dark and scary place.
As the waves crash over and over, I'm hoping, wishing and praying that somehow it could all be different.
I've always thought the Ocean and Life are strange bedfellows in their own schizophrenic ways. Great levellers when you least expect it. Calm and peaceful one minute then suddenly overwhelming, dark and terrifying the next. Both have ebbs and flows and sudden swells that can delight us one minute and completely flatten and leave us gasping for air the next.
In times of angst I am easily triggered by past events in my own life which left me feeling desperate and in crippling pain. Six years ago, before I started writing here, my life was nearly wiped out literally at the hands of someone I loved and completely trusted. I then found out that I was living in a web of lies so toxic that it took years to unravel. And I too cried over and over, "Why me?" "What did I do to deserve this?"
And while asking questions didn't solve anything I know that the kind and motivational words of others absolutely did. A gentle hand and an understanding word can pull you through the darkest of places.
So here I am fishing for the right words even though everything I think of sounds like I am channelling some bad Kenny Rogers impersonator.
What did I want? I just wanted validation that what I was dealing with and feeling were real. Then I wanted some kernals of hope to cling to that I would survive and be able to move forward.
I think that Hardship can be one of the strangest gifts we ever can receive. While we would prefer to avoid it at all costs, most people I know who have faced hard times come out the other side far better people.
I learnt some great lessons. I have resynchronised my expectations about Life and what it owes me. I am a far happier and more accepting person. My sense of humour has grown tenfold. I am far more empathetic. I pray more reverently. Love more authentically. Fight harder. Fear less. Appreciate the good things more often. Yet still I cry and get frustrated at the sad stuff.
So perhaps I need to ditch the empty platitudes and just give her two things, VALIDATION and HOPE. Then I will do my best to keep her laughing long and hard until she too gets to see a glimmer of light at the end of another dark tunnel.
Do you have any words you can share about how to deal with the tough curve balls life throws at us? What helped or is helping you through hard times?