Letting go

Life seems like a joke, out to get you when you least expect it.

People disappear from your life, but it’s not until after they’re gone that you realise how much you liked being around them. Or, you understand what being truly happy means because you’ve known absolute sadness. Or you start appreciating silence because you know how loud, annoying and horrible noise can be. Life seems like a joke so; it makes you learn lessons by applying the opposite of what you want. Life is a joke in an ironic way.

Murphy’s Law had it in for me years ago. Anything that could go wrong went totally wrong. In the space of 3.5 years I lost part of myself (thank you MS!), and my only sibling, stepdad and four other people in my family passed away. My dog had to be put to sleep because of hip dysplasia and six months later, I also stood with one foot in my grave after an acute hospital infection. That same year I broke my tailbone on my first day back at work after an absence of 3 months. One week later, I was on a plane because my dad had had a stroke and exactly one week later, I stood by his graveside.

I felt cursed and chased by the death card from a Tarot deck.

I’m almost too afraid to think about it, let alone write about it just in case Murphy finds me again. I’d like to think that I live my life being positive at all times and I don’t allow any negativity in my life. I believe those sad moments were open books from which I could learn from. A chance to become wise before I even had one grey hair on my head.


In 2006 my dog Wolf had to be put down due to crippling, old age. The dog I used to call from Ireland, just to hear his “woo woo” and his “I miss you! Where have you gone to?” barking out of joy but also the pain of being left behind with my parents. I would call him, and my colleagues thought I had completely lost the plot.

The one with such trusting, brown eyes I just had to nickname him “Coffee Eyes”. Wolf – who wasn’t a wolf but looked like a wolf – used to sit up straight on my lap making me invisible as the only thing you could see was a dog with human legs sticking out from under him. Yes, he was that tall and big. And a character to match his bodily mass.

Six and a half years later I still dream of him, and I still miss him big time; I miss the long and many, many walks, the talks and the jumping around like a kid when we were ready to go out. My best friend had four legs and could bark in such a way it sounded like he was having conversations with you… must’ve been the Husky traits in his genes.

After my brother had passed away, I started working even harder, delving myself into projects and forgetting about the losses of the months before that. I just went on like a blaze of glory was about to greet me. I was having a great time because I was allowed to work from home and had power-naps during lunchtime.

I was doing well professionally and finished the team leader studies. Totally unannounced I received an achievement award for doing a good job on one of the companies accounts but after a while, my body had had enough, and it said ‘no more’. MS wasn’t going to let me continue working like this, and I went on sick leave. Again. On and off. Steroid treatments times four. On other medication, and off it again. More new treatments and therapies.

So you can laugh about Murphy’s Law being weird and hilarious sometimes, but more often it isn’t a funny thing; it’s a sequence of awkward bad situations, issues and pain that makes you wonder what you have done in your life to deserve loss, hurt, funerals and tears.

If anything, life is a joke. It plays around with you like you are just a rag doll in the wind. It is a joke because we live complicated lives; we meddle with illnesses, death, hard work and living too little. And this is where Murphy’s Law will find us.

Life has been a joke. But not anymore. My time of letting go has ended and my family and I are enjoying our strength, our lives and most of all… each other.

© Willeke Van Eeckhoutte and Ireland, Multiple Sclerosis & Me, 2011-2012. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Willeke Van Eeckhoutte and Ireland, Multiple Sclerosis & Me with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

3 thoughts on “Letting go

  1. My broken coccyx is part of what led me to meeting you & I do know the amount of pain it caused. I went to work in my very physical job as well & never did go see a dr for it. I’m so sorry to hear of so many losses so close together but glad you were strong enough to get through it.

    1. True, which is why I live my life knowing that it can all be taken away in a split second. I therefore also wanted the tone of this post to have a bit of a funny undertone :) It was a difficult period but we all came out of it happy and with a full appreciation for life.

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