Jane Ballot

Being me in the world

Monday 12th January

How many times do we speak and are not heard?

How often do we communicate with others around us and are simply not understood? Often because they think they know how things should be.

I have been very conscious that this cancer thing is not only about me. It cannot have been any other way, because anything that happens to one of us in this world will inevitably have fallout for others. Or will, at least, affect some others in different ways. Taken most simply, this has been eloquently manifest in the number of comments different people (often who I don’t know personally) will make on FB, or to members of the family. Relative strangers are constantly interested in how I am doing and will send me wishes and messages of strength.

I think this happens at any moment of crisis.

Losing Mum is primarily about Daynia, Noel, Carl and me – it has to be, as we are her children. And yet, it is as much about her 11 grandchildren and 4 sons-in-law, in similar yet completely different ways. But then, too, it is about all her patients and colleagues and friends. And even acquaintances. Mum had a big reach.

As much as losing her is about so many individuals, so are there so many different ways of mourning her; different ways of making sense of a world without her; and different ways of relating to those who are left behind. There are also different ways of understanding what she may have wanted.

But not everyone respects that. Or seems to want to.

It’s hard, it’s so hard to want to express oneself in a particular way and just not to be heard.

Today is the third anniversary of my cousin’s death.  It has made me reflect, I think, on family and togetherness – and loss.

How does one cope with losing anyone? Day-by-day, step-by-step come to mind. And these are true. What is more pressing, though, is the thought of, “with difficulty.”

And with patience. Lots and lots of patience. And understanding.

Sometimes, though, it would be nice just to be heard.

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