Today I saw pain in different forms.

I was visiting one of my volunteers, a 71 year old woman. We chatted and then I brought up the subject of her insecurity while on the phone. I wondered why she often sounded so hesitant when she had to make a call and asked if there was anything I could do to make it easier for her.
I could see something happening to her, her face became still in that tight closed way that makes you realize something is happening inside. Then she told me with tears in her eyes it was the memory of her mother. Her mother, who always compared her to her sister, who didn't mean to hurt her, but did, by wanting her to be something she was not.
Old pain, yet still so very visible after so many many years....

I came back to the office, and called another volunteer who had asked to talk to me. She is 80 years old. She told me, with her voice raw with pain and choked with tears, that she had just heard that her 33 year old granddaughter was going to die within 6 months. Breast cancer, just married, young child.
Recent, fresh pain, still hard to grasp.

It was a hard day.

4 reacties:

Dori said...

Marit, I may not always be vocal, but you know that I'm always lurking around somewhere. Wish I could invite you over for coffee. I have brownies.

A Touch of Dutch said...

I think you were in the right places at the right time for these women.. Do you know what I mean? You were the right person to be nearby for those women during their moments :-)

Elise said...

Thank you both!!

Anonymous said...

Hey Marit, read your Pain blog a couple of times.... It's funny because I automatically felt and read phycical pain instead of emotional pain, would the Dutch word be Verdriet om het verleden etc..., because I dont think Pijn in Dutch refers to emotional pain? Oh, well, just a couple of wanderings of my mind.
Love,Lise p.s. I waved back at you in the train, but you just zoofed voorbij.

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