Sunday, June 26, 2011

Valedictory Grumbles

I have decided that I don't want eulogies at my funeral, I want valedictions. 'Eulogy' means to speak well of; valediction means to say farewell, which leaves more room for honesty. You can say: ' I didn't like this, this, or that; but I did like these other things'.

So, if I were writing valedictions for my friends, I would have a few grumbles. But explanations first.

I am, in Jungian terms, a high intuitive. And I have honed my skills for 55 years by studying literature: noticing subtleties, nuances, what is said where, how it is said, how often and where it is left out all together. This makes me wrongly expect the same level of intuition in my friends.

As well, I have a different sense of time from the rest of you. I have no immediate family and the M.S. has stolen my ability to involve myself in hobbies, entertainments and travel. This gives me an entirely different perspective on my life and other peoples'.

Thus, I send photos of my garden and receive the response “what lovely photos”. But I have left this garden 'disastrously' only twice since December 1999, so the response I was looking for was: “what beautiful prison walls”.

Similarly, I commissioned Anthony Ritchie to set some poems to music. This was my talisman, my grandbaby, something to throw into the future where I might be remembered a little. Some people who have received the CD have not commented at all, some have said “how lovely” and only a few have responded with real depth and appreciation.

They would be my grumbles, but as well as the grumbles I want to acknowledge with gratitude and love my friends who have stayed with me through decades of time and across oceans.


  1. Hello Ms. Neutze. I am Susan from the States. I just finished reading your book, "As for tomorrow, I cannot say." Thank you so much for sharing your story in what I can only imagine was a labor of love for you. The many personal things you shared really spoke to me. I was diagnosed with MS in Sept. 2010 & I am still getting my arms wrapped around what is my new normal. I have always been a very positive lady with a good sense of humor, for which I am grateful for daily. God comforts me and my relationship with Him through Christ Jesus is my anchor. "Like the dog chained to the chariot wheel..." and "a grey mid-winter afternoon-" are the poems that I really related to, again, thank you. You are a true inspiration to us who are in this fight. I send prayers for good days for you...good in your eyes, which is what matters Ms. Neutze.

  2. Susan, sorry to hear about your diagnosis and thanks for your comments about my book. My advice to you is to regard M.S as an Alzheimer's of the body brain, short term memory problem, so it's necessary to get every muscle working as often as possible so the memory becomes long term. Anyway, not all the muscles of any one group are wiped out and the other ones can atrophy if you're not using them, which can be mistaken for M.S. Good luck on your journey!

  3. Ms. Neutze~
    Thank you for such a kind and timely reply. I am still very mobile and able to attend to all of my personal care & the majority of my home chores. My son helps & I have a great support network of others. I purchased a pedal exersizer that can be used on the floor for the feet or on a table top for the arms. This is a real blessing on the days that I sit & rest more, as I can still use it. Again, thank you for the tips!