Last night, in the midst of what felt like a very "dark" hour, the AOL "You've got mail" voice rang out from the other room (actually, it is the voice of Dr. Evil from an Austin Powers movie saying, "You've got frickin' mail"), alerting me someone/something/some spam had just made an effort to reach me...I had been trying to remain unreachable, unfortunately. I was simply not in the mood to read, chatter, or face anything else life (OR AOL for that matter!) might have to throw at me.
But being the ever "I can't leave things be" person that I am, I decided to check the email message, hoping perhaps for a quick delete from Overstock.com or some other spammy site. What I received instead, was an email I spent the next hour or more reading and rereading. It had come from my dearest friend, Rojoo...a beacon in the night, calling me inward.
For the better part of that hour, I sat reading, crying, and contemplating his wisest of messages...something I'd give him full credit for, except I can only imagine the words were channeled from "god"...he is such a talented and insightful writer on his own, but THIS particular message even seemed somehow beyond his graces.
I asked his permission to share the email on "Cheese", admittedly selfishly at first...then I asked if he would somehow "rewrite" a version of the email for everyone's benefit. Instead, he has given me permission to simply post the email "as is", for which I am indebted. Any specific identifiers will be changed, however...especially if they were to reveal too much intimate data...such as my weight, or...LOL
Here it is:
I've been pondering your fear message on the blog and wanted to respond personally. Even though I don't have MS, I feel a strong connection with what you describe. After my dad's death when I was 17, following close upon my uncle's and grandmother's deaths, I have always felt a strong sense of how tentative our daily lives are. I know that one aspect of the fear you describe is the fear of losing control, having to rely on others for care. I am grateful that I am not yet there. And yet another aspect is what each of us has to face: death, the end, the big sleep. The odd thing about death is that we go along pretending that it isn't going to happen when it most definitely is. I admire your truth-telling so much because you're describing the ultimate condition of being human, facing our own destruction, something that most of us spend great amounts of energy trying to avoid.
Shit, this is hard to get at but what I want to say is that you can't go wrong. Whether you fight or whether you give up, whether you have a good attitude or a bad attitude, whether you place your hopes on medical breakthroughs or give up on the whole pseudo-science mess, you are equally lost and equally found. What I believe, which may not be helpful to you, is that in facing the worst, we find the best. The greatest advice I ever had from a therapist was when I asked him about what to do with all the pain I was feeling and he replied, "Lean into it." That's all we can do and yet it's what I try to avoid doing all the time. Whether or not there's an answer or a God or a way out, all we can do is lean into whatever it is that presents itself. I'm proud of you for doing exactly that and want you to know that I want to help, even if it's inconvenient for me.
You are the best.