The Last Post?

This may be the final post that I get chance to write for the Silent Eye… that decision has been taken out of my hands. I spent much of last week in hospital, having, as many of you know, been diagnosed with incurable small cell lung cancer last September. It has been an interesting and informative journey on so many levels as familiar things have been stripped away and a gift of love left in its place… rather like the tooth fairy leaving something of real value in place of a discarded incisor.

First to go was the illusion of near-immortality that gets us through life, one way or another. We know there is a certain inevitability about life leading to death, but we tend not to apply it to ourselves until we are forced to pay attention. Dealing with the situation that made me sit up and listen meant that the body came under attack. As its fitness levels diminished, my job went… and so did my face and figure. All core things with which I have identified myself over the years.

Well, you would, wouldn’t you? Even language conditions you to that… ‘my face’, ‘my body’… ‘my life’, forgetting that we borrow the raw materials of our physical existence from Mother Nature and that they will, one day, have to be returned.

Bit by bit, the human version of one’s identity is stripped away. You are too weak now to dance, couldn’t climb a slope, let alone a hill, if you tried and are going to have to be pushed in a wheelchair… the way you have done for your son all these years, in a complete role reversal. Except that he is still stuck in the wheelchair and you can’t even trade places to make it a good deal. Because there are no ‘deals’ at the end of life.

So, eventually you accept that you won’t make it to retirement. Your voice changes, disappearing every so often. Then, an eye goes… and not in some fixable way. So you can no longer drive the thousands of miles that have been your joy. Or see to paint or write with ease, or even watch the birds on the feeder. And while you are given lots of hope about the outcome while they wait for test results, it is not a surprise when you are told that the cancer that had started in your lungs has now set up multiple homes in your brain.

Or that the ‘months’ you had been given have now been reduced to ‘days to weeks… if you are lucky’.

If you haven’t started to let go of the identification of yourself by what you have done, the definitions of ‘self’ imposed by language, role and label, then having them forcibly torn away is really going to hurt. The human personality is programmed for survival, and the possibility of extinction… like a candle flame forever snuffed out… is anathema to the ego.

The ego… the personality we wear like a protective shell as we walk through the world… wants to have mattered, to be remembered, to have made a difference. Sometimes it has… and may learn before life ends that it did. And that is a joy, although it comes with a certain regret. How would life have been different had you always known that you were so loved and made a difference? Yet each one of us, every one of us, does so…simply by being present in the world, we change it indelibly. By reaching out to a friend, by comforting a child, by simply being human, sharing life and love and laughter… and tears… we each make the world a different place, moment by moment. We may never see the ripples of what we do or say, or know how far we can shape a day or a person by our actions. We each have that power… and responsibility.

Continue reading at The Silent Eye

About Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire-born writer and one of the Directors of The Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School. She writes alone and with Stuart France, exploring ancient myths, the mysterious landscape of Albion and the inner journey of the soul. Find out more at France and Vincent. She is owned by a small dog who also blogs. Follow her at scvincent.com and on Twitter @SCVincent. Find her books on Goodreads and follow her on Amazon worldwide to find out about new releases and offers. Email: findme@scvincent.com.
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121 Responses to The Last Post?

  1. Jean Lamb says:

    Shai Dorsai. This is an SF tribute to your courage (Gordon R. Dickson’s Dorsai books).

    Oh, and hugs. Lots and lots of hugs. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Chel Owens says:

    Beautiful, Sue. I finished reading this in its entirety but popped back over here to comment.

    I agree with all your observations and feelings, save a regret. Through your words -given artistically, liberally, beautifully- you have stepped beyond a shell. In them, the most important part of you will live on forever.

    Like

  3. Sadje says:

    Lots of hugs Sue. This is the truth of life and your life has touched so many lives and changed them for better. I pray ease and comfort for you. Lots of love.

    Like

  4. Ritu says:

    I sat here and read this whole post, but had to come back to here to comment, because, Sue, I know you through here, not the Silent Eye.
    My eyes are moist, but I remember what my Pops always says, as we face the inevitable.
    It’s time to celebrate what we did, and do, have, together.
    You have been a huge inspiration to me, over these last six years. I’m honoured that I can count you as one of my blogily, and friends.
    The legacy of Sue Vincent won’t go forgotten, I promise.
    If we were closer, I’d hug you gently, though in my heart it would be a huge squeeze.
    My heart breaks 💔 a little, at the thought of the Sue-shaped hole that will appear, but it then remembers all you have given me.
    Support, inspiration, and the hand of friendship
    Always here for you, Sue, with a hug, and a prayer. 🤗🙏🏼💜

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Ruth says:

    Oh Sue, such a beautifully-worded goodbye… Sending you all the love in the world ❤

    Like

  6. willowdot21 says:

    I have been to The Silent Eye and and left my words there but this blog is part of you too so I had to stop here too. I have said what I can, all there is to add is , I love you. 💜

    Like

  7. besonian says:

    Beautiful, Sue, Written with your customary personal strength, love and insight. You are and have been, as I’m sure you know, an inspiration to a great many, myself included. Remember that the real You, the ultimate You is going nowhere. It is where it has always been and will ever be; it is around that which your passing human self has been hung for this current lifetime. And it is that which has been the source of everything you have given to so many – it is in fact, and will always be, the real You. I recall the words of the wonderful Ramana Maharshi who, when close to the end of his life, was asked by some his desperately sad followers, “What will we do when you are gone?” His reply was, “I’m not going anywhere. Where would I go? I am here.”

    Like

  8. Hello Sue. You are an inspiration to all of us with your bravery and vision. I also believe that we go on to another life after this one and know that your next life will be as full as love and happiness as this one has been. Nevertheless, my eyes are full of tears and my heart with anguish as I read this post to the end. Hugs and love to you and Ani. And Thank You.

    Like

  9. Cathy Cade says:

    Good luck on your journey.

    Like

  10. ‘Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo’ and you will live on in my heart for as long as I am on this current journey, Sue. Like many others have said, you have been such a wonderful and huge inspiration to me. I am so pleased that our paths crossed, but I will be forever grateful for meeting you in person, where you welcomed me with one of those bear hugs you mentioned to Ritu.
    I’m sending you all my love which I know you will take with all the other love on your next journey. Oh! And not forgetting the hugs. There are lots of those too.
    xxxx

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Jemima Pett says:

    Today is my Mum’s anniversary. She always looked after all my friends, through our teenage ups and downs and ‘my mother doesn’t understand me, how does yours?’
    She’ll be there to guide you through, Sue.

    With much love (and some tears).xxxxx

    Like

  12. beth says:

    you have been such an inspiration to so many and you are a true adventurer, always on a quest to learn. I so admire you and want you to know that you are loved.

    Like

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  14. You are a dear beautiful woman whose journey has deeply touched my heart. My Leeds cyber friend I’ve called you but honestly long after I forget how I referred to you I will remember how I felt connecting with you, your words. Especially this one, Sue. You have a permanent place in my heart. Much love, Paulette

    Like

  15. Sue, I haven’t been active here for years – today I checked in again, and your post is the first one I see. Thank you for the warm sense of community that you’ve been a big part of for me. Thank you for all your shared thoughts and reflections. Thank you for the impact you’ve had on this world ❤ Sending you a big hug ❤ Love, Charlotte

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Acceptance, wisdom and courage. For me prostate cancer 7 years. Chronic lymphocytic leukemia 40 years. So far need only the absolute minimum treatments.

    Like

  17. Erika says:

    Dear Sue, first of all, I am sorry that you have to go through this. I think everyone can understand what you describe here… and then again not. The depth of the insight that we are definitely not what we are identifying ourselves within the material world can probably only happen when truly experienced. The way you are going through is one of the toughest to learn this. But then again, it might bring such deep healing on a different level which is what everybody seeks. You are such a strong woman and I thank you for sharing a part of your journey and your thoughts and feelings with us. All I can do (but what I do with all my heart and with all the healing energy it may spread) is giving you the biggest soul hug. Much love, dear Sue 💖

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Beautifully,courageously worded. You are an inspiration. I wish you love and peace ❤

    Like

  19. Paula Light says:

    You will be missed, Sue 💖

    Like

  20. I am so grateful, on many levels, for your words here Sue. I hope you find room for the love I send. And with that love, the laughs you evoked, and the wonderment you created when you took us on journeys. Thank you Sue. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  21. LucciaGray says:

    I read your post and all the comments carefully, which I don’t always do. We are often in a rush and I tend to skim through many posts, but I’m glad I took the time to read yours carefully. I’m moved abd in awe of your fortitude. We all know we must die, but to face one’s own mortality, head on, with an approximate expiration date is not something we are able to handle as well as you. You have my admiration.
    My best friend’s father died suddenly and she us very upset, because there was no time to say goodbye. It may be a small comfort, but most are neither prepared nor do they know in advance, as you do.
    Yesterday I read CS Lewis shirt essay on the death of his beloved wife and I was almost in tears. The way in which he tries to accept and rationalise death is amazing. In case you’d like to read it’s called A Grief Observed. All the best for your final journey💗 and thank you for your support and your unforgettable words and photographs.

    Like

    • Sue Vincent says:

      Thank you, Lucy. I have been so glad to have this time to be able to share with my loved ones, making more memories and so that the goodbyes are not so abrupt.
      The other gift is the blogging commnity… because my boys will read the comments, and the emails… and the pressure of pain will be relieved a little, bit bit as they weep. And to see how people cared is always a healing thing.
      I willlook up the Lewis essay… he writes from deep faith, but always beautifully. Oddly, my nickname as a child was Lucy… after the Narnia books. ❤

      Like

  22. mistermuse says:

    Beautifully said. I can especially empathize with “the way you have done for your son all these years, in a complete role reversal.” My wife and I, in our 80s, are both in declining but better health than our two 50+ years old daughters, one of whom lives alone in another city, and the other cannot support herself and has lived with us for years. What will happen to them when we are gone (assuming they outlive us)?

    I’ll never forget what one of my dearest relatives said years ago in her nursing home bed near the end of her life: “It’s no fun growing old.” I didn’t fully appreciate those words at the time. I do now.

    Like

    • Sue Vincent says:

      I would have liked the chance to grow old, I have to say and to judge that for myself… but while my body has ages decades in the past few weeks, my mind is still as young as ever.
      I wish you well.

      Like

  23. Jan Sikes says:

    Sue, I left my comment at the end of the post on The Silent Eye. I only want to reiterate that I pray for a sweet transition for you and if you can come back and tell us what awaits, that would be amazing! Sending virtual hugs. May the Angels surround you.

    Like

  24. Thank you for your beautiful, candid and authentic words. I am an awe and truly touched. The magic and essence of your life has reached beyond many borders and boundaries. Thank you.

    Like

  25. Oh dear. I will say you are brave and facing this next journey with grace and aplomb. Vaya con dios.

    Like

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  27. vinnieh says:

    It’s been wonderful getting to know you. I’ll miss you so much. I wish you peace and love

    Like

  28. Tempest says:

    Dear Sue,
    I am so sorry! One of my best friends had lung cancer, too and didn’t recover. And this happened after her husband had passed away of bowel cancer. Such a tragedy. Such a loss. I don’t know what to say… I can’t imagine how such a situation like yours must feel. I wish you peace and that you will travel to a beautiful place. I will miss you and your midnight haikus, wonderful poetry. I’m sorry, I’m so bad in finding the right words…

    Like

  29. You are a gift. Sending my best thoughts for easy and comfort and energy. xx Na’ama

    Like

  30. Pingback: Ode to Sue – The Good, Bad and Ludicrous

  31. Sometimes we just happen to meet someone at a random place for a time so brief it looks like a little star in the sky.

    But that star gives you hope, warmth and light when you are wandering in dark, shaking with cold anxiety and unknown fears.

    You have been that star for me, here.

    I don’t have exact words to describe the positivity you brought to this place. Thank you so much!

    Sending you love, prayers, peace and comfort. ❤️

    Liked by 2 people

  32. TamrahJo says:

    I posted my ‘just wrote it out’ Ode to Sue – and trashed all the previous drafts/versions – ❤ you and will miss you here, whether today, tomorrow or later. But I also trust, once in awhile, we shall 'converse' via the great Universal cyber cafe set-up – linking the post, in case you feel up to reading – but if not? That's okay – I trust, now or later, you'll know in your heart, anyhoo – https://ballybin.wordpress.com/2021/02/28/ode-to-sue/ ❤ ❤ ❤ you muchly! And so grateful you have been a part of my journey!

    Like

  33. I saw this on Beth’s post and had to pop over to read it all. What a wonderful way you have of telling your story. I worked for Hospice back in the day when I was still able to work and have held so many people who became part of my life in my arms as they departed this world. I was blessed to be able to share such a sacred experience with each of them. And now I read some of the things they had been going through but were unable to express. You have spoken for them all, and for all the ones who are unable to express themselves so eloquently. Thank you for this, and God be with you on your journey.

    Like

  34. Lisa Orchard says:

    I’m so sorry to hear this, Sue. I’m sending peace and prayers your way. ❤

    Like

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  37. Sue, we haven’t known each other long here but I will still miss your beautiful posts very much. Your light shines clearly and brightly and I hope our paths will cross again — in another place and time (or rather, beyond).
    May your journey be filled with light,
    may your crossing illumine the night.
    Peace and love to you. ❤

    Like

  38. I’m very sorry for your struggles. I pray you get through this with little pain, grace, and endless moments of joy. May I suggest that you keep writing? It may be therapeutic for you and helpful for readers in similar situations. God bless you.

    Like

  39. This post just brought this to my eyes, but it’s lovely and inspirational…

    Like

  40. stuartaken says:

    Oh, Sue: what can anyone say in such circumstances? Your post here is so brave, eloquent, considered yet passionate, and an inspiring message to the rest of us. The Covid pandemic has pushed our awareness of mortality higher up our consciousness, but your situation places that on an entirely different level.
    As someone who was investigated for 3 types of cancer (all terminal within 3-18 months at the time) when I was 28, and found to be suffering something rather more benign, I understand that feeling of coming to terms with the end of existence. I’m in awe of your perseverance, your courage, and your acceptance. May this final period deal with you as kindly as possible. I will miss your contributions to the writing life and thank you for the virtual friendship we have shared. Write until it is no longer possible, it will help.

    Liked by 1 person

  41. Angie K Walker says:

    dear Sue the ripples you mentioned lapped against my feet just now. I haven’t been on WordPress for years and the first thing I read is this. Wishing you serenity and all you wish you yourself.

    Like

  42. Angie K Walker says:

    xxxxx

    Liked by 1 person

  43. felicity936 says:

    Dear Sue,
    Thanks for this brave and beautiful post and for all the others you’ve shared, as well as your books and your wisdom. You will be deeply missed. My very best wishes for your new journey, with hugs and love, Felicity

    Like

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  45. johncoyote says:

    You are in my prayers dear Sue.

    Like

  46. HappySoul says:

    Lots of hugs, Sue. We haven’t known each other for long, but does the length of time matter!!?? I wonder! In your writing I see courage, strength n hope always. You’ve touched many through your blog. I’m definitely one of them .. sending lots of love your way ❤️

    Like

  47. He Sue, though we never met i feel i know u personally through your writing. As an amateur writer, you are the one who encouraged me to write and gave me confidence with each your comment n views. Lots n lots of hugs sending your way❤❤❤
    You will always be my Guru my inspiration.😇😇😇

    Like

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