Lyme Life ~Nobody Dies Suddenly
Some people will certainly find the title offensive. Some will immediately balk. Some will think of loved ones or acquaintances who were killed in an accident. Others know someone who died of an illness without warning.
It’s true that people die without long drawn-out illness. It is true that some people die way too young. It is also true that death is instantaneous more often than any of us want to think about.
What I mean is that each of us will die. For me, that means I have been scheduled to die for fifty years already. Even a child, although we hate to say it, has been alive and so will die. No one wants to dwell on it for long, but it is a part of life.
Lymies tend to think of it often, as do people with cancer or other life-threatening illness. The constant state of pain and weakness can bring on the despair of our impending death. I’m sure that some healthy people keep it in mind for one reason or another too.
For the people who died from Lyme Disease, I mourn and I don’t mean to make light of their deaths nor do I want to minimize the injustice of it. In our country, the insurance companies and healthcare system have ignored the dangers of Lyme.
I’d like to focus on what time we have to live. Having a life worthy of living. No one knows exactly when they will die unless that has been determined by the judicial system.
This is a heavy thought, I know, but if we don’t consider that today might be our last, we might miss opportunities to live well today. What might we miss?
Tell your family and friends that you love them. Say hello. Let the people around you know that you care for them. Share words of wisdom. Offer some positive thoughts. Write a note. Send a card. Post an affirmation. Upload a laugh. Reach out to someone who is hurting. Dig up some old books and give them away. Words are containers of power. You have words that no one else on earth has. Use them to make a difference in your world.
Once you have made a habit of extending kindness, practice gratitude. Simply being grateful is real work when you’re suffering. When you have no strength to dress and getting to the bathroom is a struggle, remember that you are still breathing. Every breath is a reminder that your life is important, that you have purpose. Thank God in your own way for that. Be ready to leave this earth with no regrets by forgiving and receiving forgiveness. Forgiving is not a feeling, it’s a decision.
Whether you have been sick a long time or you are healthy, make peace with life. No person on earth has everything easy. The most wealthy and beautiful have their problems. Do the best you can with what you have. That is not to say, “Give up hope.” Life worth living hopes for the future. We only have the present moment. Let’s not spend it frustrated and angry. And never compare yourself with others. Take an honest inventory of what you can change and what you cannot.
When I was too sick to read or even watch television, I could pray. Maybe you are not a believer. You can focus on pleasant thoughts. If you don’t, it will be much harder for your body to get well. Forcing myself to think about a bright future was extremely difficult. I kid you not. Racked with pain, unable to do much more than lay in bed, the desire for death was often overwhelming. It takes real effort but you can do it. Force yourself to think about doing your favorite things, seeing your favorite people, and enjoying life again.
You and I have to grieve. There are a lot of losses with Lyme and other chronic illnesses. Feel the pain. Just don’t stay for too long at a time. We cannot deny the truth to ourselves. That will make anyone sick. Have it out with a trusted person or an imaginary friend. If you are a believer, tell Jesus all about it. Then, go back to the top of the list and repeat as often as needed.
You’re still breathing. You still have purpose. I’m praying for you.