Christmas Eve 2017
It is just turning 5.30pm in Sydney Australia, it is a balmy evening after a stinking hot day, a little thunder around, cumulus clouds are forming and merciful God the heat is abating. It has been a normal lead up to Christmas. It is a time for people stressing out and not coping, particularly so for those caring for sufferers of really, any type of disease. It is one reason the Foundation does not have time off over Christmas and the New Year, we try for the sake of our own loved ones to back off a bit on the joys of paperwork and KPIs, and checking and replying to emails, but our 24/7 Support Helpline continues.
Those in the know say we are mad, but if you have lived the journey and know what it is like to be truly alone, scared and have no one to turn to, you know why we do it. We don’t run office hours because everyone deserves to have someone – dark tunnels aren’t dictated by the time of day, or the day of the week. This week has been a hard one, with three sufferers having finished there journey on earth. Every time we hear of somebody in the Bernie Banton Foundation Community leaving us, we personally do it hard, thinking not of the person who has gone, but of those left behind. We give thought to how they are, the emotional time ahead and the inevitable periods of loneliness.
Milestones such as Christmas, New Year, birthday and anniversaries are particularly hard – often traditions spanning decades are swept away. Well meaning family will normally try to be inclusive, with the best of intent, but generally you will be the odd one out, whether it be family or friends. Then there will be the pregnant pauses, with nobody knowing what to say for fear of offending or upsetting the person they love so much as a mother, father, sister or brother, relative or a friend. But honestly, this is normal, who can be an expert when every single person will think and react differently? The main thing is to do your best and continue to care for the person you love and who has lost!
Which leads me to what I consider to be the most common mistake made by family and friends, when somebody near to them suffers the loss of a loved one. It is a mistake easy to make and equally easy to avoid.
So what is this mistake?
The mistake is simply assuming somebody else is doing the calling on the phone, or dropping in for a chat – after all the person in question has so many friends, such a big family! I will just get in the way, I wasn’t that special, I wasn’t a best friend, and the list goes on….. and on!
Yes it can be a very lonely world when you are so popular, everyone thinks someone else will be calling or dropping in. Trust me it is not something anybody should experience when they have lost a love one, but I would say possibly the majority do!
With Christmas, New Year and holidays coming on, should you be giving a thought that just maybe, the popular person you love, who has lost, is sitting alone waiting for you to ring or call in?
Nobody who has lost, deserves to be alone at Christmas………. or really any other time!
I always encourage family and friends to talk with each other to ensure this doesn’t happen – it’s easy if you take a bit of time and communicate.
May Christmas be good for you and all those around you.
Blessings, Love, Joy and Peace,
From the Desk