“I am having more fun dying than some people are having living”. T.H.
In 2004 my partner was diagnosed with esophageal cancer. What a deeply shocking day that was. Surprisingly though, he was actually initially relieved as he now had an explanation for some of the difficulties he had been experiencing over the previous months, such as pain and a problem with swallowing.
Tim had major surgery to his oesophagus soon after the diagnosis, one of the more extreme surgeries one can have. Being very dedicated to his recovery Tim did very well after this surgery, though within a few months the cancer spread to the brain and Tim had two further surgeries to remove these tumours. After this there were further tumour metastases in his lungs. At this stage the doctors felt that further treatment would not be supportive or increase Tim’s life. Tim passed over in 2006 two years after his initial diagnosis.
When someone close, or in fact anyone, is diagnosed with a life threatening disease it can be devastating and is a massive stop moment … one that cannot be brushed aside.
When the shock settles questions may begin to arise, “Why me? I don't deserve this.” It can be tempting to want to blame the diagnosis on something outside of us such as environmental factors, bad genes or a particular person for causing stress in one’s life etc.
Also a sense of guilt, shame and sadness may arise as it did for Tim, as the realisation sunk in of how his impending death was going to impact those close to him, his loved ones, his friends and family.
It was a difficult time and yet with the many questions that arose there was also deeper reflection and awareness that came too.
There was a willingness to look a little deeper and consider that illness and disease is not just random or a form of punishment, nor does it happen overnight.
A cancer diagnosis can be shattering and also bring humbleness. It challenges all your beliefs and ideals about your life and offers a time/space of true openness and discovery if chosen. I now know from my experience with Tim and from experience with illness that this is where there is an opportunity for true healing.
It starts when we become honest enough with ourselves to truly consider what it means to be responsible for all our choices in life–physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
We are never in truth the victims of our circumstances as we have a hand in creating them by the choices we make in our lives – the quality of our chosen moments and movements paving the way and leading us to where we now stand.
This in fact can be a very empowering time when we connect and consider there is a divine order in it all. It is an opportunity to awaken to deeper awareness and self-reflection, to begin to see our relationship with responsibility in our past choices and also our future ones. Starting to address the past with awareness, in my experience, is when the opportunity for healing truly begins.
The body never punishes or judges, it simply reflects and is a marker of the truth of our lived choices.
Is it also possible that disease is the soul’s way of clearing the body of all that is not aligned to our true nature, clearing all the behaviours and ways of being that are steps away from our essential self and do not reflect the truth that we are? Is disease a way of bringing the body back to harmony with its essence – and so in the clearing, both physically and energetically, there is more space for us to feel that which we are naturally – Love?
I witnessed this re-union and healing within Tim as he became more at ease with himself, more expressive and engaged with life during his illness. He loved his life and had a renewed sense of purpose and joy in the simplicity of it. Each day was precious and appreciated for what it was. Each person was equally appreciated.
He actually said to me one day,“I am having more fun dying than some people are having living.”
I had to agree, he was simply enjoying being and living from this re-connection with himself.
Victoria P., Australia
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