Monday, May 24, 2010

The Power of Human Connection Is Not LOST on Me

Dharma Initiative cookiesImage by artnoose via Flickr

I watched the series finale of Lost last night. I admit that the last 10 minutes brought many tears to my eyes. I can't say that I have a better handle on all the mystery and mythology involved in this series than anyone else, yet I feel compelled to comment about the human connections created among the characters and the portrayal of the final journey they all embarked on at The End.

It amazes me that it took a TV show about a bunch of castaways on a tropical island to highlight how much we humans need each other. Granted, there is nothing like a smoke monster chasing you through the jungle or the reality that there is no McDonald's or grocery store around to get people working together. But I guess if you took away all our distractions--TVs, DVRs, cell phones, video games, etc.--we would eventually rediscover each others company and how much we really need each other too.

Despite all my distractions, life with chronic illness constantly reminds me how much I want and need other people in my life. You see, my experience of chronic illness is very much like living on an island, all by myself, with a smoke monster torturing me. In fact, at the moment, I can't think of a better way to describe living with chronic pain, chronic fatigue and all the other debilitating symptoms I experience every day.

What I miss most is being with other people for the majority of my day. In my previous post-illness life, I went to work with other people for eight hours a day and spent my evenings bowling in leagues with my husband or hanging out with my friends. Life with chronic illness has become synonymous with the word lonely; in many ways, I've lost my connections to other people because of chronic illness.

What caused me to cry all those tears at the end of the episode? Simply one big question: Can it be true that all the people that we lose along the way to death, divergence and distance can be found together in one place when we die? I found the concept utterly appealing. I found myself hoping that this little bit of fiction was the truth. It would be wonderful to regain all my lost relationships, all the ones that were important to me and helped me through the most crucial parts of my life, once my life was over. How wonderful it would be to move on to whatever the next phase of existence is surrounded by people I care about and love. Plus how great would it be to re-experience all those connections, all at the same time, once again?

No, the power of human connection is definitely not lost on me.
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