Suffering and Happiness

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Wednesday Ten April

My brother Simon came home to see us recently. He lives in Auckland New Zealand so  he arrived in Cork Airport looking tanned and handsome. Coming from gorgeous sunshine to freezing cold didn’t seem to affect his levels of happiness too much! Delighted to be reunited after two years, we climbed into the red van the three siblings and Jonnie.
We talked about the journey and Simon told us how a very large man was squashed up next to him trapping him in and snoring all the way from Qualar Lumpar! It sounds funny but I couldn’t help thinking that my life in general feels like that too. I feel trapped and the snoring is like the constant challenges I have to face. It seems like a never ending snore!

Been feeling crap lately, somehow the effects of this illness are really kicking in. I keep seeing what I can’t do whereas before I’d keep an open mind. Simons visit highlighted this for me as only a close family member can. A hands on Dad himself, his thirteen year old girl and ten year old boy and lovely wife are making plans to build their dream home down south near Wellington. I can’t help thinking that in comparison to him I’ve been doomed to a life of servitude in illness.

In our early teens  we were in a mixed troop of scouts with a motivated and energetic leader (“hi Pat!”). We camped in wild places and once in County Wicklow I broke my left ankle while playing a game of rounders (painful!). Simon came to my rescue and carried me to my tent. We have the photo to prove it stuck to Mum ‘s fridge door! Us looking all hippyish back in the eighties. I wanted him to save me now as he had done then and make this awful disease go away.

Off all medication now I notice some changes. More energy in the evenings which helps on movie or Graham Norton night, (“we love your sense of fun and sharp sense of humour Graham!”) when the girls come and we get to catch up and they munch crisps!

Other changes, not sleeping as well because sedative effect no longer in my system. Also mood low as mentioned earlier as the medicine I stopped which helps with the secretions used to be used as an antidepressant. So my body also benefited from that. Now I’m dealing with withdrawal symptoms. Even since I started writing this last week I’m feeling better overall thank God. (“Good on ya Dol for predicting that!”) I guess it does take a while to detox.  Next I will try some natural alternative which doesn’t have any nasty side effects.

So Simon loves food and cooked us some incredibly tasty meals including spatchcock chicken (flattened and slow roasted) and shin beef stew where you cook bones n all and scoop out the marrow. Yummy! One of my all time favourites.

Long live Simon and Lucy too for their consistent love and care. I couldn’t ask for better siblings.

Here’s a quote from my favourite Buddhist on the nature of suffering. I find this helpful (but not sure I know how to suffer like he says):

“The Lotus in the Mud”

“The goodness of suffering is something real. Without suffering there cannot be happiness. Without mud there cannot be any lotus flowers. So if you know how to suffer, suffering is OK. And the moment you have that attitude, you don’t suffer much anymore. And out of suffering, a lotus flower of happiness can open.”

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13 responses »

  1. Hi Emma.

    Great to have you back. Missed you ! The last time you saw your brother things were different. Seeing him again while fantastic must also stir up emotions both sad and happy.
    You have got two beautiful children that are healthy and that you can cuddle and smell and see everyday .Also you are so greatly and hugely loved by them and your family and friends.
    That’s two massive positives that many people running around the world everyday will never have !
    Your suffering is huge and unbeliveable and to me would be uncopeable . But you continue despite all this with a inner sense odds dignity

  2. Hi Emma .

    That should read inner of dignity and style that leaves the rest of us in awe. Remember to keep using this blog as your voice. You have so many friends and fans rooting for you. Also admire and respect how honest your posts read.
    Talk soon Cal x

  3. Hi Emma. Kieran Harte here and once again I come away from your article today full of awe and admiration for an amazing author. I can see you are going through a rough time at the moment and hopefully as you detox an equilibrium will soon be on the horizon for you. It’s amazing how some people have everything and have nothing but you have less and have everything. The love of your family and friends have and will overcome any obstacles in your way. I look forward to watching “your lotus flower of happiness” blossom (without the suffering of course)
    You truly are an inspiration to us all,
    Kieran

  4. Just read your latest Em, I hear you. My heart is broken for you. I just can’t believe what you are going through. I can’t find any positive words because I am angry and so sad. I remember the days when you weren’t trapped and wish you had it all back.
    See you Friday for a good ole sob and a laugh. Love you Gus xx

  5. Hi shapeshifter! Just read your metaphor regarding snoring and would you believe I’m listening to the bbc and the program is about snoring yes ! ha ha etc very funny etc however they were saying the biggest problem is that people don’t want to be near each other. But, that doesn’t apply to you, as karen carpenter said,everyone wants to get close to you. I get terrible headaches, which I am now on lifetime medication for. When they go, im nearly glad i had them. It’s the relief and i feel ive paid for something if you know what i mean. I think that’s what the monk meant, its a bit fortune cookie and if i met him i might give him a smack! Is that unfair? Met your brother, lovely man mind, yourself Scilly 59

  6. You’re such a beautiful writer! Such a beautiful person!
    Love you so much,I can’t bear that you are suffering this.. it’s too much mud!
    But you, my darling cousin, are the lotus bloom at it’s finest!
    Love forever,
    Nick oxoxoxoxoxo

  7. Lovely writing Emma, thanks for that. The mixed emotions u must feel for example with Simon really come through.
    Mud and lotus blossoms! Fantastic.
    Love
    Barre

  8. Hi Star,
    Have just been reading your latest piece AGAIN!! It is brilliant. You really made us wait this time but I know how busy it has been what with all tha fans visiting & trip to Dublin! I have found myself moaning alot these days over rather trivial issues and need to get back to living in the moment! Reading this has really woken me up again….. Thanks Star & thanks for being such a beautiful lotus flower …..because YOU ARE
    Keep on writing… I need it!!!
    Baci,
    Dol xoxoxoxo

  9. Hi Em

    Beautiful words, written beautifully.

    Thought you might like this little bit of NZ soulfulness;

    Thinking of you,

    Simon xx

  10. Hi Emma just visited your blog after lucy redirected me! Loving your words and your way with them! Your kids are gorgeous too! Keep those words coming! They are inspiring to read! Take care Wayne

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