because i love her

coping with a child in chronic pain is difficult. at times, it is exhausting.

exhausting is good for no-one. not for my daughter, nor for me.

should i keep myself safe/strong by holding her pain at a distance? (that is, an empathetic response is not helpful, it does nothing to change the nature of the pain). on this trajectory, attentive caring will, inevitably, wear me down. it is not only counter-productive but irrational. pull yourself together, woman.

writing in The Guardian, Giles Fraser, reminds us of the importance of looking after one another.

although, I want to be a burden on my loved ones, deals with arguments against euthanasia and assisted suicide, i think the article points to a significant cultural shift – to a focus on self and an increased disassociation with others (even those closest within a family unit). the subtext – i won’t be a burden on you; please don’t be a burden on me.

in a separate article, Why Parents should leave their kids alone, Jay Griffiths scrutinises western parenting and finds it wanting. parenting strategies – often desperate, sleep-deprived – that encourage babies to be left to cry and cry and cry in their cots until they learn, damn it, that crying will get them nowhere.

although coming from completely different directions, Fraser and Griffiths point to western civilization’s cold edge.

where does this leave me and my daughter?

the ability to care goes to the heart of being human.

it is difficult, exhausting. how can it be anything other?

it is an act of love.