Why your voice is the most powerful part of you.
I was very sad yesterday to wake and find a news update on my phone that the beautifully brave and brilliant actress Lynda Bellingham had died. This upset me so much that I found myself crying without realising it. It has touched a nerve with me deeply, not just because I have dear friends who are dealing with cancer and my mum and I have just endured the last 12 months facing Waldenstrom’s Macroglobulinemia, a rare blood cancer, but because it was only last week I watched Lynda speak on This Morning. She spoke with such bravery and honesty but also with warmth, experience and truth. She talked about being an actress and the thing you wish to achieve most in any performance is truth and she felt through her experience during her Cancer this was what she wanted to express. I was deeply moved listening to her speak at the time. Now she is gone, those words she spoke, her voice, still remain.
She laughed and she joked but she also gave gravitas to the importance of how to treat someone with cancer. How not to tell them ‘they look well’ when they clearly are not. Lynda spoke about talking, taking the time to talk to your family. Not just going through your daily duties but actually using your voice and speaking.
I find all the advertising slogans of ‘beating’ cancer ‘standing up’ to cancer and ‘fighting’ cancer abrasive for me. Listening today to the phrase ‘lost her battle with cancer’ makes me angry. They personify cancer as a school bully to whom if you stand up and fight will slink away. This belittles the truth of cancer for me. I understand that for others that idea of ‘battling’ cancer helps them but for me it implies that you have a choice when faced with cancer. It implies that to say that you feel it is all too much and overpowering and that actually you feel very poorly is weak and wrong. Cancer leaves you no choices. It takes away so much from you and those that you love. This was another reason I was so moved by Lynda Bellingham as she decided to take something back and choose not to continue to ‘fight’ the cancer. It was too painful, too unpleasant and she wanted to choose not to suffer this anymore. Her voicing that so publicly was incredibly powerful and moving. That has helped me greatly and will do so moving forwards in caring for my darling mum and also supporting others whom I know are suffering. I hope her using her voice helped many others also.
Lynda’s voice resonated truth for me and I am very grateful to her that she used it.
This has all happened at a time when my own flesh and blood is struggling to use her own voice. My five year old daughter had her tonsils removed last week. She has astounded me in her bravery and I have seen a resilient strength within her that I didn’t know was there yet in someone so young. During her healing time her voice is changing everyday, from nothing, to croaky and now it just sounds poorly. Her presence with me during those times when she was unable to speak, or when it clearly pains her to do so, hammers home how precious the gift is that we have to communicate.
Recently I also had a cold and throat infection. I lost my voice and was unable to work as a voice artist for over two weeks. Granted it gave me positive time to catch up on admin and marketing but in only using texts and emails it highlighted to me the strength of power of the spoken word.
Make sure you talk today. Not just someone else’s words but use your own. Talk to those whom you care for and love. Your voice is the most important part of you that you can give to someone else. Use it wisely, respect it and it will remain long after you are gone.
Lovely, inspiring words Rachael. Makes me think how much we can take for granted until it is no longer there! God speed to your mum and daughter x