In general I have lived a very happy, active and contented life – as I hope my webpages have testified. But we all must have our periods of suffering. These were mine.
For me this picture represents a very realistic form of suffering. (but it can be taken symbolically as well)
Separating from one’s wife and family must involve a large amount of suffering for all concerned. For Noela and myself this was particularly so. Over four days we discussed the matter in detail (mostly during the night because I was working during the day). Wednesday was the worst night. After a discussion lasting the whole night, I got up at 5 am to walk the streets of Epping for an hour or so. Pure and simply – waves of pain were going through my head. Noela had rightly told me the extreme inadequacies of my life – for many hours and in infinite detail. It was a terribly difficult time for both of us. When war is declared between two very close people, then life becomes very hard for both parties. This is the fundamental nature of life.
I had also made a mistake by choosing an easier option in this process. This made the whole process worse. But none of us always “does the right thing”. I certainly don’t.
As you might expect I went through a long period of suffering after my big accident.
The first month was pretty bad because death was a distinct possibility – and I couldn’t get out of bed. This occurred down in Melbourne. Then I really appreciated the small church services there. It is comforting to remember what Jesus himself went through at his end.
When I could get out of bed and move around on a wheelchair, then life became much better again. Then I went to rehab at the Prince Henry Hospital, right next to the ocean. Life then became very good. We patients become the centre of attention with lots of young nurses and physios treating us as heroes.
But when I left hospital, life became really hard. My flat wasn’t wheelchair accessible so I had to move out to a half-way complex at Berala (western Sydney). I felt terribly isolated and cast-away. Every few weeks I would just break-down in tears. I expect life wasn’t all that bad because plenty of people did visit me. But these tears continued for the next year or two.
But eventually I recovered and I feel I have now regained my old position in life. I am now once again a normal contented person. My experience is that, if you can accept your new position, then over time you will re-enter fully into the normal stream of life. So life is OK.
The Kameruka bushwalkers have a saying
“To live, you’ve gotta suffer
and, if you ain’t suffered, you ain’t alive”
This saying, of course, is much too strong. But, never-the-less, it seems to me that, if a person wants to live life to the full, then they must be prepared to suffer. This seems to be the very nature of life.
After a storm of suffering, some form of peace will come to us all.