Monday, 1 September 2008

Raw Emotion

There's this image embedded in my brain. It's incredibly emotive. There is a couple, on the left sits the wife, early 60's, a few missing teeth and overweight, slumped forward in a plain lounge chair, her husband embracing her from her left side.  They're both lit by a radiant heater at the far left of the image - which warmly highlights their emotions and the tears embarrassingly rolling down her cheeks. 

The wife is dying from an acute form of leukaemia. She's tough and jovial, but the intensity of the discussion has broken her. And the tears flow. It seems like a classic theatre production, but it's real. I have asked the questions, initiated the discussion that has lead to this breakdown. It's entirely appropriate that she's crying. And as I sit there watching, I feel an intruder into a world that is not mine. The questions needed to be asked, the situation discussed, and a plan for her ongoing care constructed. And so I sit there, this poignant image burning silently and deeply into my retinas, and I say nothing. There is nothing to be said. It's sad, but it's beautiful. Life is beautiful even when it seems the complete opposite. 

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