Last week, I spoke about the devastating effects of poverty on my people. I apologize if this seems like I’m cheating, somewhat using my first draft of what became my latest piece, but this cannot be overstated: people are dying. It is my hope is that reflecting on Saint Mother Teresa of Calcutta will hopefully get the point across.
I think I feel incredibly close to this tiny Catholic woman because, lately, I’ve been experiencing what is known as the dark night of the soul. Where one experiences incapacity and limits of understanding in a way that is painful, and that hopefully strengthens character (Optivox, 2019 ). Mother Teresa experienced this for over 50 years as she was confronted with the suffering of the destitute (Naglieri, 2022). 50 years! I think she understands being invisible.
I think she understands my shock and pain realizing that some of my contemporaries with disabilities choose to be assisted in dying because the discrimination and the poverty get to be too much (Human Concern International, 2022).
For the record, the document I was given only implied that people with disabilities could use this as an option because they thought they had no choice. In my book one is one too many.
Like her, I must do this work. No matter what I feel. My life is not my own.
Before I continue, I want to reassure those who read this that I am mentally safe. After all, my biggest civil disobedience is living in a world where, as I’ve heard too many times, people would rather die than be disabled. From TV interviews and movies to personal interactions, this world told me from the time I was very young that my life isn’t worth living. That I am just unfortunately stuck.
To that, I say … I won’t say.
Out of respect for the saint of Calcutta I will not use the expletive that I want to. I will be civil. But I will not sugarcoat things anymore. People are dying! No, not just emotionally and spiritually, people are choosing to die because this world barely notices us. I understand the majority of people who make mistakes with us don’t mean to, and please know I love you and hold nothing against you, but it’s time to make it stop.
Please join the campaign to help make financial assistance for people with disabilities something enacted nationwide to help us out of poverty. We are almost there but we need every support possible. Please help my people find purpose.
It’s dark in my soul but if that means I turn the light on for someone so be it whether it be for months years or the rest of my life. Mother Teresa pray for me. This is what I wanted give me this strength not to turn back. Amen.
Please visit disabilitywithoutpoverty.ca for more information.