A Note from Fatty: Free Verse Friday is taking a break today, because I want to write this instead.
From time to time, I get an email that hits home. Here’s one I got yesterday:
I wanted to ask if it would be okay to use “Crying is for Climbing” as one of my class materials for a didactic I’ll be teaching to new chaplains on Spiritual Care of the Caregivers that I’ll be teaching next week.
I’m a board certified chaplain, and while my specialty is trauma and disaster response, Crying is for Climbing is really quite universal. I will be spending some time talking about the role of physical activity in self-care of the caregivers, and understanding how certain people (many people?) process emotion through physical activity.
I’ve found “Crying is for Climbing” to be a great short piece that describes this effect in the most clear and concise way I know. I also like that it’s not overtly spiritual, so it’s highly applicable in the multi-faith chaplain world that I need to teach in.
In other news, I’ve also often found “Like Dandelion Seeds” to be incredibly useful in my line of work. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve been with families the day they get the “yeah, you’re not going to beat this” talk- they know it’s going to be a sh*tstorm, and I can’t tell you how many people feel better being able to read Dandelion Seeds and know that someone else has put words to the storm.
They appreciate that you did not sugarcoat it, and that you know it gets bad. It’s been a great piece to have in my toolbox when people ask me the “what do I do next” question. I hope you get to realize at some point that, even though you wrote that at some of the worst moments of your own life, it’s been incredibly helpful to plenty of other folks, and continues to be helpful.
Please do let me know if it would be okay to use “Crying is for Climbing” in a class for new chaplains. Good luck on the next race!
Assistant Rector, St. Mary’s Episcopal Church
First, this email made me grateful: grateful that someone is finding Susan’s battle helpful to others. That’s her legacy. Or at least one of them.
Second, this email reminded me that it’s been months since I’ve written anything for the Fight Like Susan book. I’ve had a fun summer racing, but I need to get back to work.
Thanks for that reminder, Betsy.