On the suffering of others (Part 5 of 5).
The part of dying that Cam struggled with most was that his death would hurt the people he cared about. For a long time he thought that shutting people out of his struggles and not showing them that side of himself would protect them from pain. He recognised that he misjudged this and sought to change it before the end.
He opened up more. He found words to share his fears and challenges with those he loved. He found ways to not lose himself in all the changes that he had to face as his illness progressed. He recognised that we don’t get to choose who we hurt, we only get to choose who we let hurt us. He understood that people will hurt because they loved him, and that that was our choice. We would choose it everyday, and we wouldn’t choose differently just to avoid that pain.
He hated that he could not protect us against this pain, but he knew the only way to avoid it was to die lonely and unloved. And that was never going to happen. You cannot spend your whole life being super, set out to have as big as possible impact on as many people as possible, build an enormous global community of love all around you, and then at the end, expect those who loved you not to hurt at your loss.
With goodness and love comes pain and loss. And this is okay. It’s a choice we made to love him. And the loss will hurt. And we will survive it. He was 100% okay sitting with that pain. The way he tolerated it was knowing that we would be here together, taking care of each other, when he was no longer with us.
Losing Cam was awful, as we knew it would be. Unbearable. And then it was barely tolerable. And then it would hurt a little less. And then it will be just okay. And then one day, we’ll get to a place where we will only be able to celebrate him and remember him with joy, not with these sad bits that are inevitable at the beginning. And then we’ll be okay. He did not worry that we wouldn’t get there. He knew we would be okay, even if we can’t see that yet.
We had a resilience mantra that got us through some of the harder days over the last many years during times when he was not doing so well. It goes like this:
He will be okay.
And if he’s not, he will be.
And if he’s not, WE will be.
This pain is a privilege. It’s good pain. The best kind. The kind that comes from love.
There is a quote from Kahlil Gibrahn, that resonated strongly when we thought about losing Cameron: “When you are sorrowful, look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth, you are weeping for that which has been your delight.”
This is Part 5 of 5 of Teresa’s eulogy for Cam. Thank you for reading. Click here to return to the introduction (Unfinished Symphonies).
Want to learn more about Cameron Gill’s journey, his legacy, and his legacy projects? CLICK HERE for Cam’s official Facebook legacy page. We have heaps more of his story to share, so like and follow to stay updated.