I thought to myself she has CFIDS. I quickly dismissed my thoughts because I'd never read anything about Cher having CFIDS. I thought maybe she was tired or annoyed with Ellen or something.
I decided to google Cher and CFIDS and sure enough there it was. Cher was diagnosed with it back in 1998. At the time they said she had EBV. Apparently at some point she went to Germany for treatment (I do wish we had access to treatment in Germany-they are doing some fabulous things over there with this illness as well as chronic lyme and work on treating myocarditis). She had a bad bout with it as recently as this year. My guess is she is struggling with it now. I doubt someone with this illness would notice the subtle telltale signs.
If you look at pictures of people with this illness you'll find this look. It's like an inner light has been subdued but gets reflected through the eyes. There's a sad quiet stillness too. My heart goes out to her.
I imagine there are many people out there who suffer from chronic illness who are having to spend the Holiday alone. Though I don't know your names, know you are not forgotten.
During illness the soul comes out of hiding and shows itself with fresh realizations and new priorities. You deal with issues of life and death and you discover the importance of love and caring of friends and family. It can also highlight issues such as loneliness, isolation, and be experienced as a dark night of the soul.
I believe it can be a place of transformation too. I just don't know what it looks like or feels like yet. Illness uncovers a world of meaningful issues that may have been covered over with the business of living out in the world. Now there are no distractions. There are no options but to look closely at what has been unveiled.
The religious scholar Mircea Eliade explores in his journals what he calls
"the spiritual,'religious,' functions of illness." "Illness," he writes, "is the point of departure for the process of personality integration and for a radical spiritual transformation." (Mircea Eliade, Journal III)
Virginia Woolf sets out the scope of illness in her brief essay On Being Ill:
Considering how common illness is, how tremendous the spiritual change it brings, how astonishing, when the lights of health go down, the undiscovered countries that are then disclosed, what wastes and deserts of the soul a slight attack of influenza brings to view, what precipices and lawns sprinkled with bright flowers a little rise of temperature reveals, what ancient and obdurate oaks are uprooted in us by the act of sickness...it is strange indeed that illness has not taken its place with love and battle and jealousy among the prime themes of literature.(Virginia Woolf, On Being Ill)
I trust that I'll find meaning in this, and in doing so, a sense of peace.