Why are some children born with, or develop, grave illness?
Jordan was two and a half when he came to the clinic with his mom. He was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor six months earlier. His mom said his speech was declining; he was loosing the use of his left arm and hand, which he called “lefty;” his sight was getting blurry; his organs were slowly shutting down; and his head was hurting more and more. He’d have good days and bad days although bad days were sweeping away the good ones.
I treated Jordan twice a week for a little over a year until he was too frail to come to the clinic; he stayed at home in the loving care of his mom and dad, with snuggles from his kitty Momo. He sank deeper and deeper into the grip of the tumor, which was smashing down upon his brainstem.
While I was working in the clinic Jordan’s dad called. “Hi Tad, Jordan passed away yesterday afternoon; he was home in bed, comfortable and peaceful.” He said more but I couldn’t hear anything else, only that Jordan was gone.
That evening I finished late, the clinic was quiet, I thought everyone had gone home when I heard Dr. Upledger’s familiar stride coming down the hallway. He sat in a chair beside my desk, smiled and said, “How are you?” I said, “I’m OK, well not really, I want to quit.” “Why do you want to do that?” was his calm reply.
After listening to my description of Jordan he asked, “Did you do everything you could do to help him?” I paused then said, “Yes, everything.” He took a slow breath, “That is all we can do. I know you helped him in many ways, maybe not changing the final outcome but you did help him.” I didn’t say anything but thought, “Yeah, so what? He died anyway.” He said, “Don’t stay too late, go home, and get some rest. Call me if you’d like, any time, OK? I’ll see you tomorrow.”
I stayed at the office for a while longer. Did Craniosacral Therapy help Jordan at all? Did it help him have greater ease while he lived or as he passed? Dr. Upledger helped me accept that Jordan had his own path upon this earth and I was fortunate to accompany him for a brief period.
It dawned upon me one day that children with disorders are bodhisattvas, wisdom-beings of great compassion. They ask of us one thing and that is to be fully present, to softly stay in the moment, no matter what may be happening. They are beings of pure light illuminating the way for all of us to sense beyond physical manifestation into the heart of acceptance, kindness, understanding, listening, and love.