There are days, moments when I think life is normal. I go to work, I meet up with friends, maybe pick up groceries, grab a coffee, get lost in a book or maybe a show on Netflix. Sometimes those moments can last for days, maybe even weeks. Until suddenly, but not unexpectedly, the reality of life grabs me by the shoulders and thrusts me up against the wall yelling, “Here I am! Did you really think I wouldn’t come back for you?” Spitting in my face, “I am not going anywhere!”
My daughter has gone blind. She has lost her eyesight. I’m wiping the spit off my face. We knew she was struggling to see, but she was also struggling to breathe. I don’t think any of us expected her eyesight to go completely. But it did, it has…one day her pupils just became enlarged, and unreactive. And that was that, three weeks ago.
And as I was researching suffering today, I found an image online that said “Suffering is not inevitable, it is an option” and it spurred this blog. What a bunch of bullshit. Who the hell believes that? Someone who obviously hasn’t watched a love one lose their way or their life.
Suffering is not an option in living grief. I didn’t have choice when I sat there in BC Children’s Emergency on a Friday night being told Sophia has no eyesight. Nor did I have a choice sixteen years ago when she was born and I was told she may only have days. Nor when she had liver surgery, or spinal cord surgery, or she began to lose the ability to walk, or the capacity to breathe…
Suffering is NOT an option…it is inevitable. And by denying the truth of our suffering, we only suffer more. There is no shame in being vulnerable, in feeling pain or loss, or anguish. Sharon Satlzberg wrote “acknowledging the truth of suffering is an enormous liberation for all involved”.
I can speculate why society denies our suffering, why my friends and family, as well intentioned, always have to fill my suffering with affirmations or regurgitated repudiation.
But hear this; right now, denying my suffering serves no purpose. I am angry…no, I am fucking furious that my daughter, with ALL the suffering she has already endured, that with every loss her tiny little body has sustained…she has now also gone blind. Are you fucking kidding me?
Suffering is not an option in Living Grief…it is inevitable.
Beverley Pomeroy is an awarded and highly sought after Community Engagement Strategist, Speaker, Author of Living Grief; The Profound Journey of Ongoing Loss. Beverley’s community service began with a fifteen year career in private health care working for MDS Inc (LifeLabs). This community health care role developed her acumen not only for serving people in need, but also her strength in business management and organizational renewal.