Illness is everyone’s story – many have felt pain as a result of my pain

The burden of illness is carried by many, not only by those who experience it first-hand

Brigid O’Dea: Photograph: Alan Betson

Brigid O’Dea: Photograph: Alan Betson

I wrote an article about the loss of my mom a few years back. I didn’t tell anyone I was writing it. It’s a subject I hold relatively private. The day it was published, I was rattled by a comment my ever-supportive dad made. He mentioned he had checked with each of my siblings that they were comfortable with its publication. I had never considered this. I had written about my experience. This was my story.

But a story is rarely ever just your story. Circular existences form mass Venn diagrams. Bíonn dhá insint ar gach scéal. My mother’s death is not my story. Many share in this story though we may tell it differently.

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