Friday, November 21, 2008
Not too long ago, I was having an email exchange with a woman that wanted information about hospice for a short story she was writing. Her last question was, "How do you deal with a constant level of exposure to something so difficult?" It was a good question and the timing wasn't too shabby, either... Shortly after our exchange, I read Dr. Drew Rosielle's post, Old Milwaukee and Art Therapy, in Pallimed's Arts & Humanities section.
In his beautifully written and sensitive post, Dr. Rosielle shares his experience of strolling through Old Montreal and encountering a photo exhibition called Cancer Connections/Cancer:vu et vecu. It was here that he had his liberating and surprising emotional purge... far away from home and safely anonymous within a crowd.
There is an immeasurable difference between coping and catharsis. The cathartic moment is truly a golden moment. By permitting ourselves to succumb to catharsis, our sorrows, losses and fears are released and our "coping slate" is wiped clean. After such an event, we are ready to begin "coping anew".
As for me... about two or three times a year, when I'm fresh out of coping, I sit alone at night and weep and howl like a crazy person. I envy Drew's catharsis... because I'm way overdue.