Choose Health. If not for you, do it for your loved ones.
This was a difficult blog to write. It is not a cheerful “The 5 best ways to …” It is a warning call, from the depth of my heart. Some things need to be said and pondered. We are NOT invincible, and if we don’t take care of ourselves, we might leave a lot of pain and suffering when we leave too soon.
It’s been a strange month, a month of reflection, which I spent in Switzerland, taking care of my parents. My mom fell and broke her hip; she spent 3 weeks in the hospital. Since my dad is not the best cook, he knows how to open a can of beans if need be, I went there to support them. My mom has recovered and I am back in Las Vegas.
Just before I flew to Switzerland, Johnny Hallyday, the rock star of France (the French Elvis Presley) died from cancer, at age 74. Although I had not followed his career since leaving my country in 1979, I was greatly touched by the visible despair of his young wife and two daughters.
While overseas, I watched TV shows reflecting on the deaths of French celebrities in 2017.
Among them, Mireille Darc, a French actress, who died of cancer on August 28, 2017. Her companion, actor Alain Delon (the French male sex symbol of my time) was devastated and is making preparation for his own funeral. He said, “Life has no meaning any longer.”
A few days after Johnny’s death, my father came into the kitchen stating, “I am not hungry, France Gall just died.” She was one of his favorite singers who died of cancer as well, on January 7th, 2018.
A dear colleague of mine just passed away, from cancer, on January 17th, leaving a 16-year old son.
As a naturopath, I grieve for what I believe are “untimely” deaths. An ND-Naturopathic Doctor cannot diagnose, treat, cure or prevent diseases. It’s quite amazing that only conventional medical doctors are allowed to “prevent.” MDs are excellent and very much needed when there is an emergency, be it an accident, a fire or a heart attack. They have been trained for that. They know how to keep people alive. However, emergencies cannot usually be “prevented!”
When it comes to chronic diseases, which are mostly lifestyle choices, medical doctors do not have the training and are usually clueless. How then can they “prevent?”
I can hear or watch many tragedies, without “falling apart.” Once in a while, a story shakes me to the core. It happened when Johnny died. I immediately felt a connection with Laeticia, his wife of 23 years and could not stop sobbing. The pain was unbearable. I believe we are sometimes called to share in the suffering of others, to lighten up their load. It seemed I was chosen for this event (It happened before as I joined in the pain of a Russian woman).
I watched Johnny’s funeral in Paris, where one million people gathered on December 9. The three last French Presidents took part in the ceremony, which was viewed on television by some fifteen million people in France. The present French President gave a beautiful eulogy.
Johnny’s musicians played his songs by the cathedral; Johnny’s voice was missing. He was called “l’idole des jeunes” (the idol of young people). He kept his simplicity, had a heart of gold and united young and old, rich and poor. The love between him and his wife was palpable, a moving example.
Why this blog?
Cancer, diabetes, heart diseases, these are lifestyle related problems. Why do we think we are invincible and that “cancer” will not touch us? Why do we think, like Johnny did, that we will be able to “beat it?” Three days before his death, he realized that he was not going to beat it, that it was the end, and that he was leaving his young wife, whom he adored, and would not play with his 9- and 13-year old daughters any longer? The agony!
My 27-year-old daughter just told me that several kids she grew up with were dead, having overdosed. They did not think it would happen to them. They were invincible.
I meet many people who know about lifestyle, and yet, believe that “It will not happen to me, and if it does, I will beat it.” I like to tell people that “it’s never too late,” yet I came to realize that there is sometimes a point of no return when self-abuse has gone too far. When that point is reached before the “appointed” time, agony follows, for the dying person and for his or her family, friends and loved ones.
I’ve been carrying (for lack of a better word) Laeticia’s sorrow since December 6, 2017. Her beloved husband is gone, leaving an enormous void. I’ve spent many hours sobbing for a woman I did not even know existed before I read about her last month.
It has prompted me to become more vocal about lifestyle.
Talking about the “evil” of sugar and flour is not going to keep you healthy. Abstaining from them will. Talking about movement and exercise is not going to keep you fit. Move! Talking about needing more sleep is not going to get your regenerative hormones working in the middle of the day. Rest at night!
Some people win a gold medal. Some people become billionaires. Some people can eat, drink, smoke and party with no side-effects. Very few do. For most people, it’s about self-control and self-esteem.
Choosing a lifestyle that sentences you to an early, often painful death, is your prerogative. However, think about those you might leave behind if you go before your appointed time.
If you don’t choose health for you, would you choose it for them? Would you pioneer the way so they can follow and not suffer?
In our present time, it takes courage to choose health. Will you?