Moved to an Emotional Brink?

I try to include a human element to my posts. I like people; I like to know what makes them tick. I love someone who is so passionate that they make themselves heartbreakingly vulnerable. You see it most often in sports with the defeated, whether it’s a tennis player or a basketball player slouched over in pure exhaustion, not necessarily from the effort but from the emotional toll. You know they are searching for what went wrong.

I believe one of the most powerful things in the world is someone who has collapsed to their knees, shoulders drawn in, head low, and is weeping because of a loss of a loved one. As awful as this is, I quietly celebrate it. At rare times, that is what life is all about. To be moved to an emotional brink. The person who is gone must have brought such joy, must have made such an impression, that a future without him or her is simply unimaginable.

I write this because a friend of mine from High School has been diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer. Something called Clear Cell Sarcoma (CCS). Bret, my teammate in several sports, has documented his experience on a blog http://brethoefen.wordpress.com/ and I suggest checking out “My Story.”

What makes Bret’s account so gripping is that he is the type of guy with a definitive essence. Perhaps there is someone out there that doesn’t like him, but I doubt it. He’s very likable, genuine. His blog proves it by literally and figuratively showing you the innards of someone who can see the last few grains of sand in his hour glass.

As you read his tale there is a point where it switches and it stops being about your friend and it becomes self reflective. You ask yourself what would I do? You think about your family and about your future. Until you really consider your mortality you have passive hope: “Tomorrow I’ll begin my book,” “I’ll start working out next week,” “I’ll get a big raise.” But when you’re told you have a few months, you can’t wait. Very few people are ever sincerely satisfied. Those that are find peace. It’s like they won the game.

Each one of us only has so many numbered days. Chances are you’ll be brought to our knees at least once, maybe more. It reminds me of song lyric I love:

Love is not a victory march
It’s a cold and it’s a broken Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Bret sunset3

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2 responses to “Moved to an Emotional Brink?”

  1. Thanks Ben for these comments. You certainly have zeroed in on the emotional responses to Bret’s blog. It does become about ourselves at some point. Thank you for being who you are. Your writing gives me a peek into the person that you are on the inside that I don’t always get to see. You make me so proud!

  2. I loved this piece Ben, like you said, Kausik and I experienced grief like no other when we had to put our 15 year old Lucy to sleep. When she was around and barking and running around, we never really realized how much of a difference she made to our lives and how used to having her around we were. We sobbed on an off over the weekend and even after two weeks, I have tears in my eyes on an off remembering little things she did and how we will never see those things anymore. Few things that came out of this ordeal, made us appreciate life and how easy it is to extinguish it, how much we depend on each other for comfort especially when faced with the loss of someone that we both were so attached to and also to make every day count with our girls…

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