These battle scars......
Doesn’t life have a way of throwing a curve ball when you least expect it? Everything is going along swimmingly and then...Wham!! Something totally out of the blue happens that knocks you for a six and then in many cases seems to continue on a roll with other catastrophes happening straight after...as if you haven’t enough to deal with – along comes more. Not always do the curve balls happen to you directly but often to someone you know, someone you care about, someone you are close to and even though it doesn’t affect you directly, it still has an impact on you...sometimes an enormous impact.
In the past six months there have been two people whom I work with that have lost newborn babies...much wanted and loved little souls...through no fault of their own. Every test was normal, every stage was textbook, there was no hint of the absolute devastation that was about to hit their families with a grief that they would carry for the rest of their lives...the loss of a child. My heart went out to them, nothing you could say or do seemed enough...enough to make up for their loss.
Also recently, I learnt that a new friend has been diagnosed with lung cancer...too late, according to doctors. I have never met Raul but have come to admire and respect him in the past few months. A lovely, sincere person who doesn’t deserve the hand he has been dealt. So how, in this day and age, with medical knowledge as it is, can situations like these just seem to slip past unnoticed?? Are medical services stretched too far? Are waiting lists and hospital bed turnovers putting too much pressure on the system so that warning signs get missed? Are doctors too busy/too tired/too blasé? None of these are very comforting for the people who they affect the most...the patients and families.
So how DO you cope when told that it is only a matter of hours before your newborn baby slips away....or that you have a terminal illness and you only have months to live? For the parents who grieve not only the loss of a child, but the loss of that life not lived...the possibilities that could have been...a life to grow and share. For a person with a terminal illness, a part of life has been lived, a life has grown and shared and in retrospect, there is some precious time left - time to sort affairs, time to fulfil final wishes, time to say goodbyes. Time still left to love and share. A small blessing under the circumstances. Both situations take enormous strength and courage - the strength to pick yourself up and dust yourself off and the courage to face life and continue on.
So sometimes these curve balls come from nowhere, and affect you when you least expect it. They leave scars on your psyche and your soul. The scars never go away. Sometimes you may think about them and pick at them til they are raw and bleed and the pain returns. Then they scab over.... and life goes on....the same, but yet different. If only life came complete with a catcher’s mitt.