“The Fellow Traveler”

By John Diamond, M.D.

There is a syndrome I call The Fellow Traveler. It can be applied to any situation, any illness, any problem and involves the person who is the closest and usually caring for the patient. Thus it can be the friend or the spouse or partner, or some other family member. They help with the nutrition, taking of supplements, encouraging them, everything to make sure they get well, including activating the will to be well. However, in many, many cases, they end up fighting the patient on these things and at some point they give up because it is too difficult to keep fighting the patient’s inner flame problem.

I recall the husband who fought his wife over her surrender to her cancer, encouraging her, cajoling her – and then in the end arguing and fighting with her to do all the things that her doctors had suggested could help her, and this even at this stage when the lesion was small and easily removed. But by the time it had become inoperable he had surrendered to her, to her cancer, as she had. There were no more arguments. He just gave up and went along with whatever she wanted to do which was designed to bring about her own death. He had become a fellow traveler.

I remember one case where the wife and children fought and fought with the patient to get him to eat healthy food as the doctor had prescribed. The husband would scream and yell for ice cream, throwing things and causing a scene until finally the entire family could take it no longer and gave in. It became easier to just give him the ice cream or anything else he wanted. They had become fellow travelers.

“What could I have done?” the implored me as he sat beside his wife’s bed, when she was in a coma. I did not know what to tell him back then, now, perhaps, I do. Never become a Fellow Traveler. Realize that her Will to be Well is very low and she is folding her tent. It may be her destiny to fold it but do the best you can to do everything to raise her Life Energy.

The most we can ever do for a loved one, for anyone is to see her as she really is, as a spiritual being. Only this might have raised her Life Energy enough, only this could perhaps have helped her to raise her Life Energy enough. It may produce a cure in a medical sense of the word or not. But it alone could have filled the last episode of her life with dignity, reverence – and love.