It’s interesting how we all cope with pain in our own ways and choose (or not choose) to show it. Ever since my good friend from college got diagnosed with a rare form of lymphoma last August, every time I’ve spoken with her, it’s been hard to detect any true fear or pain on her end, yet I know she is scared and worrying every day. I have no idea what it is like to think that I could possibly die of an illness. I still struggle to understand what Ed felt like in his own despairing, lonely flesh and blood existence.
Human beings are such strange creatures. We live our lives every day going through different motions and habits, trying to achieve certain things that are tangible or not tangible. Yet in doing that, we all have different adversities and demons we grapple with that may make achieving any of those things even more difficult than for another person not facing the same set of issues. I sit on the bus or train and walk by thousands of people every single day. We pass each other, exchange a glance across a subway car, bump into each other in a rush. We have everyday conversations – “Hi! How are you?” Fine, thanks! How was your weekend? Did you do anything fun?” Yet we have no idea what each others’ feelings or pains or demons are. Sometimes, that must feel really alienating and lonely. We’re in this big world full of billions of people surrounding us every day, but if no one really understands you, it’s like this big sun-lit world is just a small, dark hole with just you in it.