Elena’s response to my story about the “graveyard in the hospital” contained questions about the co-existence of beauty and ugliness, and do we try to deny the ugliness. It brought to mind a beautiful little entry in the book Cancer Under the Radar: Young Adults Tell Their Stories. One young man writes:
“Why are we preoccupied with eradicating sadness?
Why do we think depression is abnormal:
I believe we need to live through difficult emotions like sadness in order to evolve.
It’s part of growing up.”
Damon Hartung, 2010
I think this is a very interesting discussion – these two dichotomies of happiness/sadness and beauty/ugliness and would love to hear more discussion on the topic.
On a separate, but related note, I have spent more time reading Cancer Under the Radar and I can’t recommend it highly enough. I had the chance to speak last week with Gwynneth Gorman, one of the staff at CanSupport in Montreal. She was involved in the development of the book, although it was truly driven by a a group of young people who saw a need to educate their peers and the medical community. The entries are as unique as the individuals and provide great insight into some of the issues that are specific to younger people dealing with cancer. It is really a stunning book, each entry like a little breathtaking jewel.
I will post the information for ordering as soon as possible.