A letter to those who suffer in silence

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To those who suffer in silence.  To those for whom no blog is written, no book is published, no Facebook page is “liked,” no jars for pennies are presented at the gas station, no picture is on the grocery store window. To those who walk with a diagnosis every day and manage medicine, treatment, research, doctor visits, insurance, and try to have a “normal” day. To those carry on and persevere, without anyone knowing you are in pain, or afraid, or angry, or sad. To those who face death and live. To those who see tomorrow as a gift and not an expectation.

Know this.

You are not alone.

As you persevere through your hardest day and walk into treatment or face another scan, and do so without the world knowing, know this: You are known..

As you try to keep things looking normal and try to maintain an outward appearance that all is well, and inwardly you are frightened and dismayed. Know this: You are seen.

Dear Child of God, whoever, wherever you are. You are so brave. Perhaps you feel your bravery is a disguise. Perhaps you are more afraid than you let on. Know this: You are loved.

To those who suffer in silence, He has you in the palm of His hand.

Wild Geese, Mary Oliver

“You do not have to be good.

You do not have to walk on your knees

for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.

You only have to let the soft animal of your body

love what it loves.

Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine

Meanwhile the world goes on.

Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain 

are moving across the landscapes,

over the prairies and the deep trees, 

the mountains and the rivers.

Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,

are heading home again.

Whoever you are, no matter how lonely, 

the world offers itself to your imagination,

calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting—

over and over announcing your place

in the family of things.”

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