Why does it take a crisis to find out who your friends are?What is it about a crisis that brings some people closer to you while alienating others?

We read and talk about people not knowing what to say, or how to behave, but I think there is more to it than that. Not sure what it is, have not read any studies on the subject. Maybe I should. Or not. There appears to be some opportunism or reverse opportunism in all of this.

A bit of – I have no use for this person any more. They have stopped being fun. Turned into a downer. All they talk about it their chronic condition. Not interested in watching sports any more. Not interested in shopping and all the other things that made you fun to be with. Why is the chronic person so quick tempered and angry all the time? Time for new friends, or more to the point, renewed friendships.

People rising to the occasion, visiting, talking, making their presence felt one way or another. Everyone catering to their strengths. Some just dropping by for a visit, companionship. Others making conversation, others lending you their cottages, or places to while away your time. Whether one takes advantage of the occasion, the offers, is hardly germane. One appreciates the sentiment, the offer, the gesture, the sentiment.

People are constantly telling me they might die any time as well. Avoiding the crisis. Death is hardly ever a pleasant conversation, nor is the specter of imminent death, whether speculated as something that is about to happen tomorrow or in ten years, a very pleasant thought to live with. Yet, here we are. Are people attempting to defuse the subject? Is there a benefit to telling the chronic person that there is competition to dying?

We would surely leads our lives differently if we believed truly that we could die at any minute, negating the doomsday scenario that prevails the chronic person. We live our lives the way we should, planning ahead, looking forward to watching in horror as our children grow up. Waiting patiently for the grand children, the travels, the parties, the friends.

Only a crisis provokes serious concerns about imminent death. The concerns soon evaporate as reality set in. We do not know when we will be lining up at the pearly gates. Even my friend who is dying and is seeing the palliative doctors has really no idea when the day will come. We just know that we have to be prepared for it in a way others don’t.

The crisis that is my condition has subsided somewhat. People have returned to their daily lives. This just a footnote to keep track of. So it should be. It is enough that it has disrupted the lives of one family, let alone a need for it to disrupt those of so many more.

2 Responses to “Crisis”

  1. Interesting perspective here are my thoughts on the subject. It seems that whenever we are going through a crisis we promise ourselves that when it is over we will live life to the fullest and not sweat the small things. Yet, as days, weeks and months pass we slowly slip back to old habits and fret over completing all the tasks on our never ending to do lists. Why is it that we need a crisis to remind ourselves how lucky we are to be surrounded by family and good friends? Is it because we need the bad to appreciate the good?

    One of my favourite moments of this year (technically last year) is being warmly welcomed into your home on New Year's Eve day and sharing a wonderful meal with you and your family. Those are the moments that sustain me through stressful times. And while I recognize the importance of those moments I don't always prioritize them accordingly and I deeply regret that I don't. So the question I ask myself is how can I live my life without those regrets? It is easy to say live each moment like it is your last but it is much harder do.

  2. thanks Farokh. this posting raises questions for me.
    what does it take to awaken awareness? sustain it? is it sustainable? often it feels as tho we humans are born to forget, remember, forget again… how is it that I forget to be mindful of some of the most important lessons I've learned, or values that sustain me, again and again and again… sometimes I think for all our amazing capacities, we are so limited by the fog of the everyday, and by 'simple' fears. is there anything that we have to contend with that is bigger than death? do we only find acceptance of death when we are dragged to it, one way or another?

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