For My Friends Who Are Sick

Okay, maybe I’m minimizing, but on the other hand the thank you breaks my heart because it is so undeserved–because the person expressing it deserves more.

I have an online friend. She blogs about subjects that I blog about. She has a number of health problems. Periodically I email her to check up on her. Sometimes I get a response and sometimes not. It depends upon her own health. Every time I express the fact that it is okay for her to only do what she can (answer or not) without apology, she thanks me.

While I appreciate being appreciated, being told I am one of the few who understands her, makes me cry. Here is a wonderful person who is physically going through some very difficult health struggles and she has only her immediate family and some internet friends to talk to. I know that friendship for many of us requires a two way street. I know that when my close friends are sick I am not always the first to call (I HATE calling!). However, when someone is sick for long periods, they may not be the person we knew before. They may go issues that we don’t understand. They may seem to complain all the time. However, if we ask what is going on, this may be the only time they are asked–and suddenly there is someone to listen.

There are so many emotional issues involved in the process of being sick. There are the physical changes that may change the energy of our body, changing the perception of the emotion. As the illness goes on, there is the wearing down of the pain or fatigue. There is fear and there is a sense that they are not doing what they should. There is judgment, made if not by an individual then by a society that thinks everything can be fixed with a pill and if it isn’t, it is your fault.

With all that going on, it’s tough to do friendship. The sad thing is, friendship isn’t about doing. It’s about being. Remember–we ask if we can be friends. Being implies we just are. In existence. We are friends.

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Bonnie Koenig has been a licensed acupuncturist since 1999. She is passionate about helping people find real healing and real health. In the process she keeps asking about our attitudes towards sickness and health. Only by being clear on what sickness is, can we ever find health.

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