Hope can be a dangerous thing, too little and we exist as a husk blowing through the winds of life. Too much and we risk the crushing disappointment of loss, failure or rejection.
After a lifetime of protectively exiling hope from my thoughts, I lay down one day and closed my eyes. My final hope, the one that had clung for dear life onto the strings of my heart quietly let go and faded into the night, leaving behind it the allure of a forever sleep and a promise of everlasting peace.
There are a hundred stories written of that night, the night we chose to end our life. Each perspective a little different, we’ll share them here one day, but not now. For me the aftermath was a tumultuous Hell. Stripped bare of who I thought I was, I rolled around in a hopeless limbo, neither here nor there, banished in darkness with the others, haunting a shattered self we just couldn’t reach.
We were offered a lifeline from the universe one day, a beacon of Light that fought it’s way into our soul and found us hiding there in the darkness, lost shadows shackled by fear. The Light brought with her a gift, a little seed of hope, and she planted one with a promise.
Promises are made to be broken and yet she returned again and again bringing with her more seeds and slowly scattering them into our abyss. She spent time nurturing them, allowing them to grow until we could begin to trust ourselves to care for them too.
As the seeds bloomed into trees we finally found a will to try, buried under layers of trauma and pain. We dared to start hoping again, a fragile kind of hope, just barely enough to imagine a future, options, perhaps a life no longer held prisoner to a relentless past.
Then Cancer came calling.
The forest within us burned, the charcoal residue of hope crumbled into ashes as the sky became red from smoke and despair. The Light could have given up, she could have walked away but instead she kept shining, brighter than ever. Fighting her way through the smoke this time she brought with her a gentle rain to help put out our fire.
A predictable force in an ever changing landscape, she held our hand through the hardest day and wasted no time planting new seeds to help us grow enough trees to breathe on our own for a while. Months passed surrounded by blue, but in the darkness that had once buried us, a little patch of light remained and as our shadows danced in the moonlight we discovered it was not just a piece of her, but a light of our very own.
To our Light, and you know who you are. We can never thank you enough for being you, for hearing us, guiding us and believing in us when we couldn’t believe in ourselves. It’s been nearly six years since that night we let it all go. While the challenges are still numerous, they are no longer insurmountable and we would not be here today to celebrate the wonder of life with all its ups and downs if it weren’t for your gentle care. Shine on. xx