There used to be a time in my life when I wondered what it would be like to not feel anything. No physical or emotional pains (or joys) at all. Not having to worry about emotional drains, or the lasting pain of a severe cut or gash. Not have to feel when a loved one dies, or a girlfriend breaks up with me. Of course that would come with the inability to feel the cool breeze on my face, or the joy I have while I’m at work knowing my wife is waiting at home for me. I wouldn’t be able to be happy on Sabbath’s knowing that my rest is in Christ and that I’m about to study the bible with beloved brothers. No sensation of holding a puppy in my hand only hours after it has been born – and the accompanying laughter as it moves around searching for a teet to suckle from – and its soft fur tickling my skin.
Unfortunately, though, and not because of any current wish, I partly got my wish. Because of the surgeries I went through because of my osteosarcoma, I have no physical sensation in my left pinky, the left half of my left ring finger, most of the top of my left hand, most of the top of my left forearm, and part of the palm of my hand. I am never 100% certain when it has sustained an injury or burn. Never sure if I’ve crushed the pinky. There is no hot or cold. No way to feel cool breezes I can feel in other places of my body. No way to fully enjoy holding hands with my wife with that hand, and because of loss of dexterity I also have to be extra careful with fragile loads.
I don’t wonder anymore what it’s like to not have emotions, I’ve tried stoicism and found it unhealthy and dissatisfied; I don’t wonder anymore either what it is like to not have physical sensations, as I have been partly granted that and I now pray with every fiber of my being that someday, that sensation will return.