Can You ever be at Peace while your Child Suffers?

Over the past two years I have witnessed a suffering in Hana so deep I found it incompatible with breathing. How could I draw in another breath? How could the world keep spinning and life continue to unfold when my daughter was being tortured in front of my own eyes?  I wished life would hurry up and pass me by and I truly felt that when it came, death would be great release. I imagined how it would feel to be free of the agony I carried in my heart every day, watching her suffer. I imagined the bliss being able to float out of my body that hurt me beyond my imagination – watching my child suffer was worse than anything that could be inflicted upon me alone, I’m sure every parent reading will understand this.

I talk about death, but I was not suicidal in any way and not depressed either. You might be surprised that I haven’t been depressed over the last two years, torment isn’t the same as depression. I was still filled with awe at the beauty of the world and was still hit with unexplained feelings of joy or ecstasy from time to time. My days weren’t endlessly grey without hope but blue-black, or red hot with intense emotion, the gut wrenchingly bad and sometimes the passionate good. But when the days were particularly dark I would look at the evening stars with longing and I embraced a growing sentiment that death wouldn’t be such a bad thing after all, when it was ready to take  me, I would go willingly.

I wrestled for two years – fighting  – to restore health and wellbeing to Hana and I knew that I would not be at peace until I had 1. Achieved and succeeded, or if that didn’t work: 2. Died. I would fight until the day I died for her. I asked myself the question, will I ever be at peace again? Can a parent ever have peace when their child is suffering?

Rage against light

How could a parent ever be at peace when their child is being tortured in front of their eyes every single day, day after day after day, incurable, no end in sight until death? The hunger, the bodily pains that flitted from one body part to another, the headaches, the ongoing terrible headaches, the heaviness at having to carry three times her natural body weight, the hunger, the cancer, the anxiety, the constant fits of crying, a stolen childhood…

There was no peace for me. There would be no peace for me. For Hana  I would endlessly ‘Rage against the dying of the (her) light,’ – I would not let her ‘go gently…’ either (*Dylan Thomas*), I was a warrior, for her. The only way to live with that suffering was to fight it, to try and kill it, to hope, to re-create happiness and to there find peace.

And I was close to that – I managed two medical world firsts in 12 months, facilitated treatment options her doctors weren’t aware of, brought about weight stabilisation with the lap band and started an intensive, exciting journey to brain healing. I travelled the world.  I would do this, I would cure my daughter and then I could be at peace again. Hana was doing very well after her lap band and Dr Kahn’s laser therapy – I was winning! We were going to move house and buy a place in the country, we cut off our hair, symbolic of renewal, new school, new beginning. I was so sure things would go my way because I had created this new future myself, with blood (Hana’s), sweat (mine) and tears (our collective contribution). I thought 2016 would hold peace for me, and I knew I had earnt it.

By the end of the first week of January I realised how utterly foolish and wrong I had been. My fragile world disintegrated around me like sand falling through my hands:

Hana began gaining a kilo a week – out of the blue &

the Tumour was back.

What now? I wanted to curl up in a ball, weep and never stop. This was too much too bear.

The creeping, suffocating darkness returned to our days, my husband and I sleeping fitfully, sick to our stomachs, unable to look each other in the eye simply because our eyes communicated too much pain. The oppressive heaviness,  dread, that goes hand in hand with  4 a.m starts when restless sleep ebbs away to days that only held fear in store. Fear that coiled in the stomach like a snake. Frightened, whispered snatches of conversation in the bathroom as I updated him on the weight gain, or we discuss the inevitable fallout of radiation on her delicate brain or the scar tissue from another invasive surgery. And we grimly envisaged what her future had in store: Her future to which we had to be helpless bystanders.

We began to work through our options, intense research once again, then made our tentative plans and started Hana on Metformin for her weight. The chaotic start to the year calmed once we decided we would take our time with our decision and a little dust began to settle. But I wistfully yearned for the peace that I thought I had earnt, why did life have to be in turmoil again? Why couldn’t I be allowed to love each second of my life as I used to when my daughter wasn’t suffering? I desperately wanted to be joyful, peaceful and carefree every day and I couldn’t ever be those unless Hana was well. Surely I deserved more than this, after the mammoth effort I’d put in to ‘making things ok again.’

Then something strange began to happen.

For some reason I was slowly becoming aware that I did not carry any negative feelings or habour hatred towards Hana’s illness, and as you know from this post (Love yourself and that includes your cancer) I was teaching this to her too.  I was curious to realise that I no longer hated that this life had chosen us and I stopped feeling the downwards pull when I observed the simple, happy go lucky lives of those around me. As the negative feelings slipped away I began to feel  glad I’d been moulded by the past two years and felt genuine gratitude for having the chance to change and develop as a person. I also realised I was no longer looking at old photos of Hana pre-tumour diagnosis with heart break and a terrible longing for the past. That was then and this is now. Would you go back and be the person you used to be? No…I actually like who I’ve been forced to become. As I became aware that my feelings towards our situation were radically shifting,  with that change of outlook something else was happening too: peace was beginning to find me.

But, one great difficultly still remained, I just couldn’t see how, on a practical daily level I could reconcile my daily dealings with Hana’s suffering, to come face to face with it in it’s rawest form – tears and terrible pain – and NOT SUFFER with her? Practically speaking this seemed impossible, her suffering caused physical, biochemical reactions in me that I could not control. How could I not hurt and suffer with her for as long as she suffered?

I was carrying these thoughts for a few weeks until, a short while ago I was dramatically forced into realising what else I needed to do.

‘Open your mind &

Listen to what people are saying.’

This is my ongoing lesson, something Hana has taught me consistently over the past two years LISTEN to what people are saying. Listen…The overwhelming turnaround has been incredibly dramatic and completely life changing. I have a lot to share with you!

I will end with the beautiful ‘Namaste’ – ‘I see the light in you’ – and look forward to sharing more with you, when the timing is right.

NN x

The journey has just begun…share it with me by looking through my old blog posts and check in with me on the Facebook. Thanks for reading and please do share this post if you feel the intuitive pull to, there are so many people I’d love to connect with. 





  13 comments for “Can You ever be at Peace while your Child Suffers?

  1. March 1, 2016 at 7:52 am

    Naomi I follow your journey and I have learn from your words. You are able to make words dance, jab and pull from a person’s soul. You and your family are in my prays. Hugs and Love Lisa #HypoGal

    • Naomi R Cook
      March 1, 2016 at 10:29 pm

      This is such an awesome compliment! I LOVE it, thank you so much xx

  2. iolanda
    March 1, 2016 at 12:18 pm

    I’m so glad that you’ve found some ‘peace’ ….. I believe you’ve been going through the different stages of grief, and the last stage is ‘peace’……

    • Naomi R Cook
      March 1, 2016 at 10:30 pm


  3. Mary Birtill
    March 2, 2016 at 10:07 pm

    Naomi when I read your inspirational article I am full of admiration for your total honesty and courage …and your command of language! This is a beautifully written piece. I can hear your Mum speaking in it too. She is such a wonderful person and although I’ve never met you I can feel her in your writing. Bon courage Naomi and Namaste! Mary xx

    • Naomi R Cook
      March 4, 2016 at 2:47 am

      Thanks Mary! I’ve just edited your comment as it showed your email address which is really weird! Anyway, I’ve deleted it for you xx

  4. Victoria
    March 10, 2016 at 5:19 pm

    Hello Naomi,

    I am a mom of a grown son in Toronto who has been battling a brain tumour for almost the last 7 years now. He has gone through 2 surgeries, 18 months of chemotherapy and a year ago, six weeks of radiation. I still shudder when I think of how precarious things were at this time last year. We now receive alternative treatments in Germany and his tumour has shrunk by over 50% and all the deficits that he was experiencing are gone. Feel free to contact me if you want to discuss this further at all.

    May God bless you, Hana and your entire family

    • Naomi R Cook
      March 10, 2016 at 10:35 pm

      Hi Victoria! Thank you for reading this and getting in touch. I’d absolutely love to hear about your treatment in Germany! Can you email me at nursenaomipress at outlook dot com?

  5. Maureen
    March 13, 2016 at 1:40 pm

    Heartbreaking watching you and your family suffer and the strength of you all. A beautiful little girl with the sweetest singing voice, .she is definetly a very special little girl and so so lucky to have the most wonderful parents and sister to care for her 💞

    • Naomi R Cook
      March 13, 2016 at 10:41 pm

      Thank you so much…xx

  6. Elizabeta
    March 14, 2016 at 2:56 am

    I watched also last night the story about Hana and your family suffering. It is such an devastating experience and I feel for you so much and wish you all the strength from universe to win this battle.
    I couldn’t resist to look to contacting you and sharing my opinion with you. Did you ever think that vaccines are cause of the tumor in little child? Did you ever tried any alternative therapies? There are for example some clinics that are healing cancer with carrot juice. Or flex seed oil. There is also good application of medicinal marijuana oil (showed successful with epilepsy and MS – I know it is different but as looks powerful might be worth trying). And natural therapies don’t leave bad side effects. Chemotherapy and steroids are even more intoxifying the body so it has to fight illness and plus synthetic medication chemicals.
    Be aware that every illness is just too much toxins in the body and the healing has to focus on detoxifying. You can try simple herbs and spices like cayene peper(can be added to juice), coriander (strongly detoxifies from heavy metals), zeolite, bentonite clay (or other, can be drank in juice or water), cloves and flax seeds in juice to kill parasites in intestines, senna tea to clean the intestines.
    I am telling all these things that I personally apply. I have went into learning and researching about raw vegan diet – for health – and found loads of information, scientific research. I found also theories about parasites that are making us behaving weirdly as they are excreting some chemicals. There are tools to get rid of them, antiparasite therpaies, zapper (with electrical current). I am not professional in health, I am actually an engineer, but have read a lot, and am just saying many of these things I have tried and it works, You have done lots of reading too, you know better than me about your situation but you also can add and research some of these stuff that I deeply believe can help.
    Her intestines must be in bad condition so think about detoxing. There is direct link between guts and brain, maybe there is some wrong connection made.
    If you are interested I can start sending you some links. Maybe then you can connect with some more professional people, nathuropats, homeopaths.
    I found also there is VEGA test, somehow with biofeedback can tell you what condition the body is in. That would be done by some nathuropaths who can then recommend therapy.
    I wish you all the best and may universe lead you to complete healing!

  7. Gabrielle
    March 14, 2016 at 10:34 am

    I have thought about you a lot lately. Love to your Darling family. Gabrielle xo

  8. Sarah
    March 27, 2016 at 9:36 am

    I know of a doctor that may be able to assist in helping Hana.. If you are interested send me an email.. I have been following your journey on Sunday night x

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