Monday, 1 September 2008

Guest blogger #1

Fortunately for me I have great friends and family that are prepared to talk to me about dying. I'm aware that some would rather not hear it, but hey it's good for me and ultimately I think it's good for them. But the discussion rarely goes to how they feel about me dying and the emotions that they go through - I'm sure they are trying to protect me (no need, I'm not a wuss) and I'm now more than ready to find out. So I am inviting guest bloggers to share their views.

If anyone wants to put their views, just send it through - love to hear from you - you don't even need to know me.

First up is my great friend and supporter, the lovely Carol ...


I am delighted to be invited to post a wee piece - as guest blogger - for dear friend Annie Fox! But that doesn't make it easy to write.

Our story: Anna (her real name) lived with PC and me (CP) for several years. Now, living with a couple is not often an easy arrangement but the three of us muddled along very happily together.

We parted our flatting relationship as firm friends - moi as her life long hairdresser (yes, I'm the Carol responsible for the latest shave to the head!) and PC as her architect and fellow political compatriot.

In between permanent jobs, I'm now in the truly fortunate position of spending a little time with Ms Fox as her sometime driver, fellow massage-mate, and No.1 tea maker -- for as long as she'd like ...... and long I hope it will be!

But as often happens when you're faced with the realisation that someone you're close to will not always be just around the corner, thoughts are triggered about life and the profundity of it.

My thoughts (some of them) have been on motivation, particularly Anna's unyielding display of self-motivation. Every single thing we do in life leads us to do something else more successfully, more creatively or more productively. Every road has a destination. So what motivates someone who is terminally ill to do anything?

I appreciate the cathartic value of sorting out one's affairs in advance, but how Anna has the motivation to jump out of bed in the mornings beats the hell out of me. But jump up she does, and we're out each day on a mission or adventure!

And would I want to know if I was the one with finality ahead of me? Doctors these days are as up front with prognoses as we're said to want them to be, but do we really want to hear this news?

I won't say Anna's inspiring 'cause she said I'm not allowed too -- as she says: 'I'm not being inspiring, I'm just facing reality' -- but Anna's relentless reality-focus, her refusal to fake reality, is something few, if any of us, ever master, and it's something to behold. It's this character of hers that forms part of my reward for spending time with her.

Now, let's make no mistake, for all the uplifting tales however, this is not a feelgood story. It's an absolute tragedy, and there's no softening of the blow as time passes. But Anna, I have to say this, you're an absolute darling to spend time with -- here's to our next adventure!


Elijah Lineberry said...

A moving piece, you say, an absolute tragedy.

Often it is difficult to imagine these sorts of things happening to [ourselves] and so Anna has provided quite a role model...I am not sure I would be holding up so well in the same situation.

Lady Lavender said...

Carol, I salute your blog...very true, very to the point. Just like the grand dame that you are!