Thursday, August 21, 2014

Letting Go Can Be The Opposite Of Giving Up

I read Kathleen's blog post this morning and it really struck me how truly relieved she is.

"Knowing that I can just live out the rest of my life without the pressure of numbers or blood draws. I am just me again."

It hadn't really struck me before of what a huge pressure it was on her to continue trying treatment and mostly for the ones who love her, who were praying for that miracle, who were cheering her on to "keep fighting" when she never once wanted to fight. Fighting isn't what Kathleen is about. And you can call it just a matter of semantics but in this case, I don't think so. And she has not given up on life. Not one bit. She just wants to live it in her own way, at her own time, as her own genuine self.

When I went over to her house today to take her some beans and rice and cornbread, she looked positively joyful. As if a huge weight had been lifted off her soul. There is nothing she's responsible for anymore except for just...being. She's not responsible for getting those numbers up high enough for another treatment. She's not responsible for reassuring people that she's fine. She's not responsible for keeping the appointments straight and getting up and going to them, sitting in waiting rooms, exam rooms, being scanned and drinking radioactive liquid. I can't even imagine all of the things she's been carrying which she can now simply let drop so that she can live her life.

She ate some beans and rice and obviously enjoyed them so much. I don't cook my pinto beans with one thing except a little oil and salt and that's how I'd made them today. Simple, simple, simple. While I was there, she opened an audio file that Lon and Lis sent her. She had asked them to record a lullaby that she wrote twenty years ago and they did and I felt so lucky to be there with her while she listened to it the first time. It was absolutely gorgeous and Kathleen may have risen up off the bed with the joy of hearing it. She was floating. She was smiling as big as the world. The room, already filled with sunlight, became even more so.

Yes. The beauty of just letting go. I saw the proof of that today. And we talked about how she sort of wishes she'd just stopped treatment when the first drug quit working but then she said that no, if she'd done that, she never could have heard that song, never could have moved into her beautiful new house. And I reminded her that if she'd stopped then, she might have wondered if she'd done the right thing whereas now, there is no question that she has made the right decision.

And she's not going anywhere quite yet. Trust me. And while we are all here, I surely would like to learn more from her about the Big Things. Like...letting go when it's time. There are so many ways to do that, so many things we all carry around that are not really ours to carry and all we're doing is hurting ourselves, wearing ourselves out in ways that prevent us from yes, just being who we are. Who we could be. Who we probably should be to live our own genuine lives.

Well, that's what I have to say this evening.
Thank all of you for all of your comments, for you sweetness and kindness. I literally don't know what I'd do without this part of my life. I don't want to even think about that.

All right. Let's all be tender with yourselves, okay?

Much love...Ms. Moon


  1. You don't have to think about it. What a beautiful and important post.

    Part of me - a big part of me, hates cancer treatment so much. And yet, I so appreciate what it's given Kathleen time to do, to make choices and do the things she's talked about. And now, how to let go on her own terms.

    Ah, god.

  2. thinking of you dear mary moon


  3. What a valuable lesson in living. We live until we die, so til you're dead, keep doing things in your own way!

    I love that she feels relieved! That means she's on the right path, her path.

  4. It was a beautiful post.

    And I am the same -- can't even imagine not having this community and the goodness that came along with it. So many, many. We are lucky.

  5. God it's so tender. So painful and somehow beautiful. I don't know this woman, incredible as she sounds, so I can say that I know you would be a great comfort to someone. You know how to just be with a person, I think. Sending love, love.

  6. Brave Kathleen. Good for her. Thank you for sharing her with us.

  7. Jo- I think that good cancer treatment depends on the doctor. Kathleen got the best one.

    Mrs. A- I am grateful for that, dear lady.

    Heartinhand- There is no doubt in her mind.

    SJ- And you make me feel blessed.

    Ms. Vesuvius- What I have learned is that being with someone is pretty much always the same as the way you've always been with them, even as life changes. You know? We just need to show and show love.

    Angella- I am so glad I can.

  8. We did the same thing with my dad...and he had the best doctors. But sometimes I think the doctors are prescribing hope and though I didn't exactly understand it at the time I realize now that hope is what my dad needed at the time. Our hospice nurse (who was our friend...they gave a special "dispensation" for us) told my dad one thing that has always stuck with me (it has been two years now).."You only have so much energy is up to you how you want to spend it". We chose the time to love each other. It was a beautiful thing and I will never forget it and have carried it though to this day. Not only for people in hospice...for all of us to think about.

  9. Ah Ms. moon. Love is all there is, yes. To be and feel loved. Nothing is more important. And you my lady are loved by so many. I love you. Sweet Jo

  10. I was so awed by Kathleen's post yesterday and grateful that she -- and you -- are sharing this part of her life with us. Your writing is as beautiful and generous as your soul.

  11. Wow. What a powerful post. (I'm sure Kathleen's is even MORE powerful.) There must be immense freedom in letting go, and I'm glad you're there to provide support and friendship.

  12. Your words read like a melody. You are a good friend and also a healer of sorts. It's wonderful to see the people who love someone give them permission to release.

  13. Ain't for city gals- Yep. Exactly. We all only have so much energy. Now- where do we want to put it?

    Sweet Jo- And I most definitely love YOU.

    Elizabeth- I am so lucky. I get to be surrounded by such grace. You know? You are part of that. And I hope you know that.

    Steve Reed- We humans- here we are- we do what we can.

    Gradydoctor- If that's what someone wants- release- who are we to argue? Thank you for saying that about me being a healer. You have no idea how much that means to me.

  14. Happy for kathleen to have her life back.(((Love to you both)))

    You've seen many friends down this path Mary Moon. The process on both sides of the life cycle. What a trip.

    xoxo m


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