Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. Thank you for visiting.
Our “Mom-Anne” has asked us to write an introduction that she will later tweak. If you’re reading this, you’ve been invited to this site to keep up on how Anne is doing. As many of you know, on Tuesday, June 1st, Anne received confirmation of a diagnosis of stage four pancreatic cancer. This is shocking news, to say the least. We are all stunned. There are lots of things to manage and handle…but, most of all, this is an opportunity to transform all sorts of things.
The Buddhist Sage Nichiren said of health challenges in his letter “The Good Medicine for All Ills”:
“Also, a person’s death is not determined by illness.
“…It is not certain that, because one is ill, one will die. And could not this illness of your husband’s be the Buddha’s design, because the Vimalakīrti and Nirvana sutras both teach that sick people will surely attain Buddhahood? Illness gives rise to the resolve to attain the way.”
- From THE WRITINGS OF NICHIREN DAISHONIN, VOL. 1, pp. 937 (https://www.nichirenlibrary.org/en/wnd-1/Content/124#para-2
And as Mom-Anne’s son-in-law Kevin said upon hearing the news, “Well, cancer hasn’t met Anne Johnson, yet.”
So, let’s chant and pray and take action and transform some karma, y’all!
- There are Anne’s children Laura Amne Ashura & Ali Babu Che writing to everyone: We want to help you to be as supportive as you can to our mother Anne and our family. It can be a challenge to know what to say in such situations as these. Please entertain these principles:
Locate yourself in the situation when you make comments. Are you able-bodied? Are you a cancer-survivor or have/had a loved one who has experienced this? …And do we know this? Are you speaking in such a way that is inconsiderate of the situation at hand? Check your position and your privilege.
Think about your intent and then DOUBLE-THINK about the IMPACT your words have on Mom-Annie and her family reading these words.
Are you making your comments about you and your feelings and making that expression so big that your wounded-ness about it takes up all the emotional air? (Try saying THAT sentence without pausing for air!)
If you’re overwhelmed and shocked and saddened and grieved beyond managing, as we are…perhaps this is not the place to express those emotions.
We👏🏿 are👏🏿 not 👏🏿 here 👏🏿 to 👏🏿 take 👏🏿 care👏🏿 of 👏🏿 YOU! 👏🏿👏🏿
So, please…take care of yourselves and place messages of support that don’t attempt to curry our emotional time and energy to think about you.
For each of you reading this, this is about you. But, for those of us managing this situation, this is not about you. We read all the messages left to our Mom. but, we will delete correspondences AND followers that post self-centered responses, albeit well-intentioned. The actual impact of such posts is to act nosy and jerk off in our collective ear about THEIR feelings, which is abusive. We will get out the Axe 🪓 and start deleting anything that does not have the IMPACT of being supportive.
Here are some examples of unsupportive behavior:
1. “Catastrophizing” when updates have difficult news. Further forecasting of bad news is not helpful.
2. “I’m so upset that I don’t know that to do!” This centers the emotion…and concern onto the complainer.
3. Offering advice in a criticizing, condescending way: “Why don’t you…” “Why haven’t you…” “you need to…” “I can’t believe that you haven’t, yet…”
Here are some examples of Supportive behavior:
1. Acknowledging your caliber of being able to relate and modulating your sympathy/empathy - A. “I can’t imagine what you’re going through. I’m hoping for the best outcome in this situation.”
B. “I know how hard this experience was for my family. Please know that my heart is with you.”
2. Asking what we can do to help instead of saying “Anything you need! I’m there!”and then not being available.
Some people have offered to help with resources they have. That’s GREAT! If it’s helpful now…or later, it will be welcomed!
3. Mom-Anne has to do the fighting. All we can provide is comfort and support. Any action that has the IMPACT of comfort and support is helping the situation.
We get it that we’re all learning and being well-intentioned, here. But, We are Scorpios ♏️ and have NO Time for good intentions with painful impacts.
- Ali Babu Che & Laura Amne Ashura