Monday, January 16, 2017

Love, Time and Death - The Trio of Life

Yesterday I saw the movie Collateral Beauty. It's about this guy, Howard, struggling with the grief from losing a child and his search for meaning while trying to put his life back together. In his search, he writes letters to concepts - Love, Death and Time, the three things that connect us all.

It's a movie that makes you think. Can there be beauty through pain, suffering and loss? Can we really take tragedy and see light within the darkness? Is there such a thing as beauty in ugliness?

I think so. Love is within everything. It's the passion, it's the motivation, it's the inspiration. Love is the creative force in this world and everything is created out of love. Love is the main reason for doing what you do. But love is also in the struggles. Love gives us a reason to keep going each day, a reason to get out of bed.

Living with Crohn's Disease is ugly. I've had 15 sets of gastroscopies, colonoscopies/ileoscopies, proctoscopies, all with biopsies. I've had my colon removed and now have an ostomy. I have a permanent/long-term feeding tube. I've had to live through severe side effects caused by Remicade, then Humira, and then allergies to a list of things longer than I am tall. I've had some pretty painful procedures like rectal ultrasounds, skin shavings and skin biopsies. I've had a few nights where I wasn't sure if I'd wake up to a tomorrow, such as when I had my hypertensive crisis episode and collapsed at the Train concert. Or when I had pneumonia and aspirated into my lungs. It's ugly. Yet, there is still love to be found in all of this suffering. Love is what lifts me up to keep me going each day. Love are the complete strangers that reach out with little notes of encouragement. Love are the little rays of light in otherwise very long, dark days.

Time gives us a chance to use our love, to transform the ugly into beauty. Time is the hope for tomorrows, the hope for a better future. Time is an opportunity. No one knows what tomorrow brings, the only time that we have is now. Time and Love give us the opportunity to create a lasting impression on the world. We have this moment to make a difference, we can make this moment matter. I'm very aware that our time here is short, and can be much shorter than any of us could have dreamt of. I want to leave something beautiful behind when I die. I want my life to have meant something. I want to be remembered as the kid who did something positive to make this world a better place.

Death. We fear it. We want to run and hide from it. But death isn't necessarily to be feared. To me, I think of death as the beginning, the point where your old life is going to meet a new life, just possibly in a new form. And that's exciting since it means that there never really is a final "goodbye", that we're connected together even after death. It's the beautiful side of death that is often overshadowed by the grief death creates. Even out of the pain of death, beauty still exists. Proof of this can be found in any of the deceased transplant donors, or in the charities that are created after the death of a loved one.

Everything comes down to acceptance, which also comes over time and with love. You accept that things change. You accept the reality of your situation for what it is. You accept your personal limitations. You accept your life for what it is - a journey filled with possibilities but not without challenges as well. Acceptance is necessary to truly live, if you don't accept the positives and the negatives in your life, you spend so much more energy fighting back against them rather than spending your energy moving forward. I accept that I have multiple illnesses that I will live with for the rest of my life. That doesn't mean that I am happy to have Crohn's Disease or Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome but I have to accept that these will be in my life as part of my path to happiness.

So the next time you're faced with a crisis, stop, breathe, and try to look for the beauty, look for your opportunity to turn the ugly into something beautiful. Make today matter.

1 comment:

  1. We lone for love, we wish we had more time and we fear death ;)