To make up for my missed first week, here’s a bit of an addendum to my first post.
Today is a true winter’s day. Not the crisp, shiny winters of novels and daydreams. It is the sludgy grey day we all know – the not-drastically cold weather sinking bone-deep faster than any Dickens’ day could manage. If Scrooge had woken up to a Christmas Day like this, he might well have put the covers over his head and slept on through to Spring.
To make matters worse, my wife has seen her already considerable pain levels increase. We are well versed in the language of care, but this has forced us to look again. Analyse our standard responses. Appreciate the little tricks that we’ve built up over the years.
When one hurts – really hurts – the best thing you can possibly do is grab hold of any little bit of comfort you possibly can. If pain renders a limb untouchable, rub lotion into an unaffected hand. If all your skin is on fire, then fill your skull with sweet sounds and soothing scents. And always embrace narrative. Stories, in my opinion, lift us out of hellfire faster than anything.
If someone seems to be in pain, be that physical, mental or spiritual, please take some time to share a story with them. It will help more than awkward sympathy. And remember, a story takes many forms. Sometimes a story can be nothing more than a picture.