In June 2018 my husband, Ivor, was diagnosed with a brain tumour. The diagnosis was a seismic shock, but it also offered an explanation for much of the curious and distressing behaviour he had demonstrated in preceding months. He died just one year later. From day one I found myself with a strong desire to write and started journalling about my thoughts and feelings. It became a way of processing what was going on and also of exploring its depths. In the better periods the journalling subsided. It would then return with each new challenge. In addition I also corresponded with friends via email and was part of a Facebook group organised by the Brain Tumour Charity.  After Ivor  died I would revisit the journal reading and re-reading. There is a curious relationship between having  an inner experience then reading your own words about that experience.  Why can it be so fascinating to read what you already know? The reading can be painful as the experiences are re-lived but the pain is softened by the passage of time and the reading. Did this really happen to me, to us?  There was also a desire to capture the depth of the feelings in poems. These were ‘in the moment’, direct, ‘unthinking’ expressions of what was in the heart.  This was a life changing experience for both of us. Clearly, for Ivor, it marked the end of his earthly life but for me it has provided an opening into something deeper.

Some time later I began to contemplate whether there could be any value in sharing the journal.  At the beginning of my own journey I could not bear to read about the experiences of others, it all seemed too frightening. But as the months went by curiosity grew and reading what others wrote became a source of support and insight.  So this year I took the decision to self publish through Kindle Publishing. In many ways it has not been easy. Revealing some of my deepest feelings, hopes and fears for anyone to read can lead to an experience of vulnerability, of being exposed, questioning the rightness of the decision.  This is my story, but it is also Ivor’s story and he is not here to give or withhold his approval.  However, I hope that perhaps in some way he too is guiding the process and that the sharing might add another level of meaning to his final months.

So this is not a work of literature, neither is it a  peer reviewed article! It is a collection of thoughts as they arose in the moment and of subsequent reflections.  Who is it for?  I imagined it would be for others going through a similar situation but one friend commented that she thought it was a reflection on a marriage. I am beginning to appreciate that in the world of the transpersonal, books, ideas and people have a way of turning up just at the right time for someone who is in need of them. So my hope is that by allowing this journal to have wings I enable it to fly freely to where it might do most good.

My book can be purchased as a paperback or e-book here.
Do you like Christine Miskelly's articles?  Follow on social!
No Comments
Comments to: An Elephant in the Brain. One Year with a Brain Tumour: A Carers Story
The Alef Field