In the first few seasons of The Late Show, Stephen Colbert did a recurring skit, now a best-selling book, called Midnight Confessions, in which he “confesses” to his audience with the disclaimer that he isn’t sure these things are really sins but that he does “feel bad about them.” While Stephen and his writers are famously funny, I am not, so my JC’s Confessions will be somewhat more serious reflections, but they will be things that I feel bad about. Stephen’s audience always forgives him at the end of the segment; I’m not expecting that – and these aren’t really sins – but comments are always welcome.
I find it easier to deal with suffering that isn’t right in front of me.
There is still concern and worry, but it is much less likely to reach a paralyzing level.
With the pandemic, I know there are many people suffering in many places around the world. There is a certain level of continuing worry and heartache.
Still, it is not as painful for me as being with someone who is suffering.
Some of the most difficult things I have had to deal with in my adult life have been medical issues with my family. Some of these have been difficult to diagnosis conditions with my children which have resulted in being home with them continually and not having effective treatment available. It was so stressful to see someone need to hold onto things to be able to navigate, to know that there was only enough strength to make one trip a day up and down the stairs to the bedroom, to not be able to relieve constant pain.
And it is always there in front of you and, despite different doctors and their opinions and hours on the phone with the insurance company and trying everything the doctors recommend, you are helpless.
Somehow, though, when suffering is at a distance, I can imagine that, perhaps, things are not as dire, that things are bearable or treatable or maybe even okay. Sometimes, I can even banish worry for a little while.
I don’t know if other people find it more painful to witness suffering of a loved one firsthand or to be seperated from them. It’s not something that people tend to discuss.
I only know that it is much more painful for me to watch a loved one suffer, especially when everything I can do seems so small in the face of the problem.