Recently heard from a friend of mine who has another friend suffering from terminal cancer and now in her final throes of life. This lady initially kept ignoring her signs and let the cancer escalate to the fourth stage. Even when she had gotten to know about the condition while only in the second stage and completely curable, she decided to keep the earth-shattering news to herself. She didn’t share it with her closest friends, her loving sisters or even her doting husband. All because she didn’t want her loved ones to suffer with her and undergo the same torment, she decided to be “selfless” about it, and kept suffering in silence. She bore the cross all alone for so long, it has now come to haunt her in an even bigger and more painful way.
And I am not even talking about the physical pain, that she underwent all through her treatment. I am talking about the emotional pain, anguish and distance felt by her loved ones, when they finally stumbled upon the news, all of a sudden one day. Repeated attempts at knowing her reason for the prolonged silence yielded no results, except that she didn’t want to put them through it.
Now then, she probably realises or maybe still doesn’t, how foolish she had been all along to keep it to herself. Even today, when her loved ones surround her in hospital and at home, their faces barely able to hide their torment at that one unanswered question, “Why, o why, didn’t you tell us?”.
We could have been compatriots in your fight together, we could have held your hand on your way to the chemo sessions, we could have put a smile on your face when you were feeling dull, cold and lonely, we would have wrapped you in the warmth of our love, laughter and friendship and held you close when you would have felt like giving up. We could have spent more quality time together only if we knew we had so little.
Sometimes, the only way to show that you love someone very much is allowing them to share in your pain. By letting others know about your ordeal, you are not being “selfish” but are actually being “selfless”. When you know that you are blessed with someone who loves you so much, don’t be selfish and just keep loving them yourself. Be selfless, and give them a chance to love you back too. Don’t be selfish and leave this world with your loved ones feeling perpetually haunted with the guilt of not knowing and not being able to love you some more.