In the midst of preparing this week’s round-up, I read the news of the death of writer, Christopher Hitchens, who wrote so movingly and honestly of his own experience of living with cancer. It has led me to reflect on how important the written word is, and the real value of our community of BC writers.
Is Cancer a Gift? That is the question posed by Nancy this week and as you would expect it prompts a spirited discussion in the comments section. Katie of Uneasy Pink continues the discussion on her blog.
Catherine is musing on her own particular definition of success in a feel good post this week.
And in another feel good and inspirational post, Terri is talking risk taking 101 and revealing more of her big audacious dream to us.
Lots of great posts this week on Where We Go Now, including tips on preparing your home for the holiday season, but the one that really struck a chord with me was Debbie’s reflection on cancer scars.
Finally, Philippa has written a thought-provoking and moving post on acceptance, acknowledgment and gratitude.
I am still struggling with an overhwhelming sense of grief and loss after the death of my beloved mother and although I may not have felt up to commenting on all your blogs this week, I have been reading and watching from the side-lines, reflecting, learning and feeling deep gratitude for your compassionate, intelligent, wonderful writing. This is an amazing community and over the past year, I have watched it grow and develop into something truly wonderful, each of you bringing something uniquely you and special to the mix.
Writing about our experiences is immensely important. When Christopher Hitchens was diagnosed with cancer, one of his first thoughts was that he was afraid cancer would stop him writing.
I was very afraid that it would stop me writing. I was really petrified with fear about that because I thought that would, among other things, diminish my will to live. Being a writer is what I am, rather than what I do.
Thankfully for us it didn’t diminish, but rather enhanced his writing output, and his honest and exquisitely written essays in Vanity Fair, in which he chronicled the physical and spiritual effects of his disease, were truly something worth reading. I read them again this morning and was struck by something he wrote in the June 2011 issue:
My chief consolation in this year of living dyingly has been the presence of friends
It made me think that in this community we are all in the presence of friends who bear witness to our struggles, our fears, our joys, our pains, our living and our dying.
Never underestimate the power of your writing to educate, to inform, to advocate, to comfort and to heal. You are a shining light to others.