I was recently asked this question by my doctor–of all people? Who asks that type of question? I have heard the question “do you
deserve to live” but never do you have the right to live. It defintely took me by surprise. As is all things of life, we must take into consideration the context in which it was asked. In this case, my doctor is always as concerned about your emotional and mental well-being as he is in your physicial well-being. He knows that you won’t have good physical well-being unless you have the other two. He was asking me about my stress level. He then goes on about how stress will kill you. He’s very blunt! He then goes on about how are you sleeping, are you eating etc. It’s all very direct and no nonsense.
So then, the conversation goes on to the death of my son. I usually don’t talk about this or change the subject because it is still very raw. It took about two seconds, maybe one, for me to tear up in his office. That’s when he asked the question, “do you have the right to live”. I sheepishly replied “yes”. Since I had never been asked that question, I was really off base in my confidence level. He then asked again, “do you think you do?”. I said again, “yes”. He goes on about “do you think your son would be very proud of you moving on with your life and accomplishing good things?” I, of course, replied yes. What can you say to all that? He then went on to say that, in a collective way, “you have the right to live”. It must be remembered.
He knew that my son discovered heavy blood in his urine on his way to LegoLand with his daughter. This was the first symptom he had of the kidney cancer that would kill him. My doctor then went on to say, Gail, “you never know when you will have a Legoland moment”. That term now sticks in my brain, the “Legoland moment”. We are all susceptible to experiencing a Legoland moment. He went on to say how I am wasting my time here by allowing stress to rob me of my own life. He continues on by asking “why do you want to fill your days with stress?”. Whether it’s money, grief, relationships, illness, work pressure, we have to get real here folks and remember our finite amount of time on earth. Exhaustion and stress are thieves. They take our time, lives and joy. You have the right to live. Look at it all and make changes that support your right to live. It comes first before “pursuit of happiness”.