I’m torn. Some days I don’t think I can take another post from a terrified parent whose child was just diagnosed with this horrible disease, or a woman sharing the loss of her boyfriend/ mother/ sister, or a mother sharing the name and memory of her lost child with the one group of people who she can count on to understand why that’s so critically important for her to do. My daughter is recovering. She lived. I’m so grateful, and I just want to move back to the time before I’d ever heard of this 14-syllable disease. But I feel guilty, too. My daughter is recovering. She lived. Too many others did not. So many are still fighting the marathon battle I wasn’t sure how I was going to survive. This group of us who understands need each other. We are a lifeline. At least, I know they were to me, and so I stay. It’s my turn to be someone else’s thread of hope…a weak, fragile thread, separated by distance and an understanding that we’ll never meet, joined only by the thinnest shred of a shared and powerful experience. But sometimes that is enough. Sometimes I may be the one with just the right prayer, just the right reassuring word, just the right tiny piece of knowledge. So I stay, not because it is easy, but because some of us must. I hate it, and I dread it, and I am grateful for it, sometimes all at once. It is the least I can do to pay forward the infinite, unrepayable kindness and understanding shown to me, when it was my turn to be on the dark side. I feel an obligation to try to be a sliver of light where I can, and to be a small voice of love where the light can not yet enter.
“Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.” –Desmond Tutu