If You Really Listen: A message from a critically ill child – By Lorie Hood

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If you really listen you can hear me. If you look beyond what your eyes are telling you and what you think I need, you can see me. I know it’s hard because I know how much you love me. I know how much you need me but you see, right now, I need you.

I need you to remember that there is a me. Yes, I came through you and in this world you and I are connected but I am not you.

Don’t lose me. Don’t lose me in your pain and fear. Don’t let me become another expression of your needs or perceived failures. Try, please try.

Try to see past the blinking lights and monitors; the therapists and nurses. Try to see me. I am looking for you and I am trying to help you see me. I am not just this body with its secretions to be suctioned and lungs that need to be thumped and forced to cough. I am not just my cancer that may or may not come back. I am not just the child on whom you calculate odds so you can plan your life or your grief. I am here and I am trying so hard to communicate with you.

Look at me. Look at ME. Not my body, not my hand or mouth or other part that needs attention. Look into my eyes and let me look back. I need to look back. I need see that you see me.

Listen with your eyes. Listen with everything. Listen carefully with all of your senses. I am trying to communicate all the time. I am forcing myself to stay awake despite being so sleepy. I am forcing myself to stay awake just so I can catch your eye but when I do, it’s only for a second and you flit away to attend to another body part of mine or monitor or to discuss me or my progress with someone else.

Please listen. Please see me. I miss you and I feel so alone.