Beyond Words

Today I caught Anna Craig’s interview on CBC. Just cutting carrots, idly listening. Then, there she was raw, honest, telling us what it is like to be dying at 37 leaving two very young children.

No self-pity, telling it as it is. Suddenly, the trivia of daily life collapse in the face of her simple wish: to live long enough, well enough for her children to remember her.

How difficult it is for her to be half in the very hands-on kids world – half touching the ephemeral mists of death. How to be authentic with friends when they, rooted in detail and daily living, either avoid talking about her death or urge her on in “the fight.”

What does one say? How does one help without the contrast between our future and hers becoming crass?

Anna says simply to be there present with her – even if it is not where you are comfortable being. Let her talk, even if you don’t want to hear. Be present, perhaps silent, but allowing, validating where she is on her journey even if it is a place that is hard to comprehend.

Our society has imbibed cliches like Pollyanna. But there are times in one’s life when fighting battles, climbing over obstacles, cheerleading is no help. You have to rest on the bottom, gather yourself, find your truth. The greatest gift we can give is to be there with her, with quiet and loving acceptance.



More info:

Anna Craig’s interview – link

Anna Craig’s blog –


About UntraveledRoads

Fascinated by life, looking for answers to chronic pain and finding unexpected gifts. Interested in people, ideas, healing and humour. I am very happily married with three children and a kitten. As English born immigrants to Canada, we have family spread overseas, a daughter in South Africa and one in England. We also run a charity in South Africa to educate black, rural South African Women. Our first girl from a rural township has just graduated as an accountant from Johannesburg University and got a good job in a bank.
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