Heroes, Too, Sometimes Give Up

Heroes also give up sometimes

We are surrounded by heroes, we can find them all around us. Our heroes are those people who tirelessly fought cancer or some other degenerative or deadly disease. Those people who, with their sense of humor and courage, despite their own hardship and misfortune, never stopped giving the world their smile.

These heroes taught me that fighting is worthwhile. They showed me that the world can change color depending on how we look at it; that true friends are there in bad times and that the valuable things often cost a little more. You taught me that there are battles that we shouldn’t keep fighting. It was through her that I learned that being honest with yourself and your feelings doesn’t mean being a coward. Most of all, however, they taught me that giving up is not well received, although in some situations it is the most natural thing to do.

“Death doesn’t exist. People only die when they are forgotten; if you remember me, I will always be with you. “

Isabel Allende

The suffering of letting go

By the time my hero found out he was sick, he couldn’t believe it, he was in shock. Denial was the first stage of grief. The news was harrowing and tough to deal with. At this stage he protected himself from suffering, at least for a while.

As he started going through medical tests, he gradually understood his condition. He felt like a guinea pig, unable to control anything around him. All he felt was pain. This pain and loss of control brought him to the second level: anger. During this phase he became aloof, difficult and stubborn. There was a time when it seemed like he blamed others for his pain. But I know that’s how he dealt with his fate.

man-and-woman-hugging-each other

The third stage, known as negotiating, passed quickly because his condition was also rapidly deteriorating. If he had a good day, he never knew how long this condition would last or whether this day would actually be his last good day. He tried everything to overcome his illness. However, nothing changed for the better.

The depression suddenly appeared in the room. “If I die”  turned into “when I die” . Fortunately, he did not let himself be caught in the clutches of depression. For the first time he stopped thinking about himself and started thinking about all the other people he would leave behind.

And so came acceptance, the final stage, the inevitable. He accepted death as another stage in life because everything has an end. The problem was that those who loved him couldn’t accept his death.

Not wanting to let you go out of selfishness

You told us you won’t fight any more; that you want to say goodbye to everyone because you don’t want us to watch you crumble, because fighting doesn’t do anything anymore. Your fate is already sealed. You have chosen to wait for death and you ask for our respect. You are telling us how much it hurts to part with those you leave behind, but that it hurts even more to live and the physical pain of life makes death a little less scary.

They say maturity is learning to say goodbye. So I’m a moody, scared, little girl who clings to you with all my might. I don’t want to say goodbye to you. During your last days I want to be with you; I want you to fight with all your strength to be with me a few more hours in this life.

But I also know that the pain you feel is excruciating and it is selfish of me to keep you from moving on, being mad at yourself for choosing to give up as if that were a bad thing. I act this way because losing you is the most painful thing I’ve ever had to go through. But you showed me that it is possible to live with pain.

Don’t worry because today I decided to enter the acceptance stage as well. I accepted that you were going and that I was going to lose you. And don’t worry, I could tell you if you go my life is over because you are my life; But that is not true. I’m just selfish and don’t want to live in a world without you. But I will not lose myself in the sadness, I will always remember you and I will live a happy life as a tribute to you and because you could no longer do it.

hand-lets-bird-fly

You will always be my heroes

I would like to remind all who decide to give up that heroes don’t always wear a red cape or have other superpowers. Sometimes they carry a backpack full of stories, dreams, friends and families that they have to leave behind but will never forget.

The only way to live a life of meaning is to accept your pain. Accept that not every story has a happy ending. Sometimes it ends in the middle of the narrative instead. And although this story hasn’t been told to the end and doesn’t have a happy ending, it’s a story that leaves its mark.

It is a wonderful Hollywood cliché to visit sick people who fight to the end, whose bravery cannot be shaken. But that’s not what usually happens. Heroes give up too, but that doesn’t make them any less admirable.

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