is this word overused? and what is bravery anyway?

July 18, 2012 at 2:35 am (angina, bravery, choice, coping, death, end stage congestive heart failure, how does it feel to die, Uncategorized) (, , , , )

how often do we hear this word?  at times it seems ridiculous, a neighbor gives her beloved shitzu his oral medicine and he is “such a brave little man.”  even the child obeys the command not to whack his sibling is brave.  we “brave the storm”    to a performer it is to stand up on a stage alone  with an acoustic guitar requires bravery bordering on heroism. Bordering on insanity. Richard Thompson   to the writer of great works – Curiosity is one of the forms of feminine bravery. Victor Hugo.
so what is bravery really? curiosity is not my ideal of bravery, however, there was a time in our history when an inquisitive mind in the female form was definitely stepping into a new and challenging arena.  the men and women who fight our wars, are they brave? the person fighting the odds against a devastating disease?  what about the loved ones of that person? aren’t they brave?  if someone decides to go to the bitter end are they brave?  what about the one that decides to spare family and loved ones?
big girls don’t cry? is it weak to show how you feel? sometimes the boundaries are blurred and though it would not be my intent to make others uncomfortable i know that showing weakness would do just that.  now i am the brave one, that could change so quickly.  to add to the dilemma though some say cry if you feel like it i am under no delusions here that it would change things.  no one wants to be around that person who says the truth about how awful this really is.  to know that your time is running out and deal with that little nigle in the back of your brain that says go ahead and make that  plan, yeah go ahead and make that plan.  when the time comes and you can’t get your body to move, the congestion (accumulation of fluid) in your organs makes it hard to breath, gives you chest pain along with the exhaustion, your running fever and hoping it isn’t your kidneys failing, you can have the embarrassment of canceling those plans.
of course this goes beyond a lunch gathering or brunch date with family.  the disappointment reaches to vacations, hair appointments, grocery shopping and so much more.  yes sometimes it all becomes too much. then you remember how brave you have presented yourself to be and know that it is more important than you would hope.  can’t cry, must be brave.  just please someone tell me what bravery really is.


  1. jmgoyder said,

    This post is bravery. Admitting I am not brave is bravery. Carrying on is bravery. Thank you for this wonderful post.

    • sbcallahan said,

      such kind words from a woman with her own mountains to climb, i am honored!

      • jmgoyder said,

        I’m the one who feels honored – to know someone like you.

  2. maggiebea said,

    I wish I had an answer for you.

    For me, bravery consists chiefly of living this life as consciously as possible, acknowledging what’s true and honoring what’s important, communicating as honestly as possible, offering comfort as possible. And yes, sometimes it seems those ideals are in conflict.

    Sometimes I suspect that when I’m done with this body, I’ll find myself standing up from a huge dining room table, stretching luxuriously, and remarking what a great game it’s been — just as we did at the end of marathon Monopoly games in college.

    Wishing you so much love, light and laughter

    • sbcallahan said,

      in pre-dawn yrs bravery was an objective concept, surrounded by soldiers and pts clinging to life there was no need to even ask myself the question. now in my twilight ( not necessarily yrs) it has become more evident just how subjective being brave truly is.

      it has long been my suspicion that this is a great game and i for one have completely enjoyed the ride:)

      good to hear from you!

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