Friday, April 15, 2011

Losing the battle or surrendering the dance?

If hope is the soft belief that something good is on its way, despair is a cutting blade that shears off the future and poisons every sip of the present.

I lost a friend this week. Actually, I lost two. Both were by choice. One by my choice, a realization that energy invested would never equal energy returned.

The other, by his choice. As a young man with a painful and terminal disease he opted to take his own life. His wife is devastated, yet accepting. Actually, that’s been the interesting part. Experiencing the shockwave of reactions. It really brings home the concept that; as we let people into our lives they begin to feel that they own a piece of it. And they become angry if we take that piece away from them. No matter how small it was.

Conversely, the people with the largest investment have been most at peace with his decision; regardless of their own personal beliefs. The more intertwined the thread of his life was with ours, the more his pain transmitted to us, and our own pain makes us realize why he would want a release from that suffering. People with a smaller part in his life feel that he was selfish, wanting him to battle on for Their sake.

That’s where the challenges of love come into play. How to balance your own wants with the respect and acquiescence of another’s decision. And conversely, how to make your own decisions with kindness to those you care about. In the end, you have to knit to your own gauge and adapt the pattern to suit.