Human nature is a funny thing. We are, by definition, caring, deeply compassionate creatures.
We have the capacity to feel huge amounts of empathy for those involved in tragedies so far away.
Tsunami victims in the far east.
Mass gun crime victims in the US.
So many losses.
So many wasted lives.
Similarly, the annual Remembrance Day service affects a large number of us.
Every year, on Remembrance Day, I shed a tear for friends/former colleagues who are no longer around. I think of them, occasionally, throughout the year, but the poignancy of the Remembrance service somehow magnifies my emotions, and for a few moments I’ll get a bit teary.
However, no matter how caring, no matter how compassionate any of us are, unfortunate events closer to us have a much stronger impact.
This weekend my thoughts are with my friend and former instructor, William, his wife and their children, and my other, dear friend [name withheld]
William was recently admitted to hospital with minor pain. Investigation discovered massive amounts of cancer. He has had more surgery in the last few weeks than most of us will ever experience. He continues to cling on, but the latest surgery was to relieve spinal pressure. This moves his condition to a very critical level. I fear for him. I hope for the best for the family, but things don’t look hopeful. And I am sad for the inevitable.
My friend [name withheld] is going through a less terminal, but equally painful mental and emotional world of pain. The end of her marriage.
She has two small children, my friend, and a demanding professional life. Yet she has carried her marriage and her children almost single-handedly for years. She is afraid of the future, but the truth is that the future will bring her more freedom, not less. Though it is difficult for her to see the truth, right now. She can only see uncertainty, and the fear of the unknown. And emotional pain.
I sit here and think about these two people; people I know so well, people I call friends, people I love.
And my heart goes out to them and their families.
I wish I could do things for them.
I wish I could help.