Friday, February 1, 2008

Changes we make in our lives?

There is so much kindness, good will, blessings and honesty in the postings at brainhell and here. We all read it, say it, feel it. I can't identify specific changes. But I wonder if the experience of reading brainhell, of watching a friend wither away, of extending kindness, changes me at a fundamental level. Those things I've done for BH I've never felt as an obligation, but as part of our friendship. And now I ponder: can I check in with myself, carry that approach, those deeds, to others? Probably not as intimately. But nothing should stop me from wishing happiness, health, an absence of pain, a wonderful family and loving friends to anyone.

How has reading BH influenced you?


Smileygirl said...

It's definitely deepened my appreciation for life and good health and not taking so much in a normal, everyday life for granted. Which in turn makes me realize that I don't want to live a life with much regret. Sometimes that's easier said than accomplished but I'm trying hard to stay on path.

And of course, like Brainhell wrote on his last post, telling the ones you love that you love them, often. Because we will never know what comes next on our journey on this earth. I want a life that feels fulfilled and complete, surrounded by genuine love and lots and lots of laughter. And it's simple, all of us can have this - we just need to recognize the blessings in our life. And because of Brainhell, I do.

Sending thoughts of comfort and peace to Brainhell and his family and all his amazing friends...

Anonymous said...

I posted the Dylan Thomas poem yesterday (Do Not Go Gently Into the Night) because I haven't been able to stop thinking about that poem and how it makes me think of BH and his brave, long struggle. His strength and fortitude and determination to fight have been truly amazing. His lovely wife too, and the children who have been so loving and graceful through all of this. I am so sad.

Sylvia said...

Reading BH's blog has deepened my compassion for people, I wish I could find him and help take care of him and hug his wife and children and famliy and friends - do anything to make it a little better. He has made me realize how precious family and good friends are, and to cherish them. How precious good health is. To enjoy each day of sunshine, rain and yes, even minus 40 degree Minnesota windchills. To love happy, funny, up-beat people but not to be afraid to cry when you're very sad. I want to thank Bh and to wish him peace and comfort.

Fi said...

From BH I have learned - "don't sweat the small stuff". Nothing that has happened to me so far has even come close to a fraction of what BH has gone through, or his lovely family. I read his words every day and follow his journey. And each day I smile with appreciation of a beautiful day, the presence of my four children, my aging parents, my wonderful friends and my partner. Just because I am alive, I am healthy and I want to do what I can, while I can in case things dont go so well tomorrow, but at least I am not taking them all for granted.I feel my emotions are more exposed, but appreciation of happiness requires you to be able to appreciate the possibility of sadness though fear, loss and death.

BH, thank you for sharing your journey with us all. I reread your posts, I cry for you, and all of your family and your friends, even though I have never met you and will never know you. But my heart has been heavy this week. I can only imagine the effort your last post took.

Grief is the price we pay for love.
Thank you BH for causing me grief.

Sis B said...

Because of BH, I no longer use the word "impacted" in that context. :) I wrote him an email once with the text from a post I wanted to make about him on my blog, to get his permission to post it. He agreed, but corrected me for saying he "impacted my life."

To this day I'm not sure if he was right, but I don't use the word anyway just in case. Thanks for reminding me. :)

If you want to see the post, it's here.

ronolulu said...

Sis B, that is a good one. I can change that to influenced? He once through a rock at me. At the Greek Theater in Berkeley. I blocked it with the binding of my Latin book. We were both shocked the rock had travelled that far. That, my friends, would have been 'impacted!'

Anonymous said...

About eight months ago, I stumbled across BH's blog from another blog, Spinning Tumor. And I was entranced.

BH seemed like a really interesting person, and his posts about his life made me rethink what it means to be terminally ill.

Back in college, I volunteered at a nursing home, and one of the gentlemen who came to bingo had ALS. He was older to begin with, and extremely hard to understand. As a shy person to begin with, I had no idea how to interact with him, and I felt extremely uncomfortable watching him struggle to communicate. I had no idea what was going on in his head, but perhaps I just assumed his mental and physical aspects of himself were at the same level.

I haven't thought about that gentleman in years, but BH reminded me of the error of my youthful ways. It was clear that BH had a fascinating mind, and that his body weakening did not mean that his brain was weakening at the same rate.

BH taught me to be less quick to jump to conclusions about people with illnesses.

Beyond that, BH made me think a lot about my priorities in life.

Blessings to his family and friends at this time.

bjk said...

He extended more grace to me than I had ever experienced or allowed myself to experience. I tried talking to Him about a God I didn't yet know and he knew it.

Liz said...

When I read BH's blog, I was struck by his feelings for his wife and kids. There was very little self-pity. I was amazed that he could take the time to write so beautifully about them, and I was really astounded by what he observed about his family. Reading his observations influenced the way I observe my husband and daughter. I wish I had taken the time to "document" everything going on in our home, the way he did, so that when I'm gone, my daughter will have something to keep the memories going. Having read his blog for three years straight, I really enjoyed "watching" his children grow up, despite the fact that he was physically winding down. The one question I wish he'd answered was why he chose not to go on a vent and thus prolong the amount of time he could have stayed in their lives. It must have been a deeply personal, wrenching decision to have made. He was so young--he could have gone on another 20 years at least if he had vented and stayed otherwise healthy. But it is not my place to judge. I am so deeply saddened by his absence.