What if behind the elaborate defenses and masks we wear there is someone we know within us that wants to live and grow and find a voice and we banish the possibility? Do we then become shadows of our real selves? Does something in our life force die? Living lives scripted into the stories that others write for us and that we then observe from a safe distance makes us phantoms rather than real people?In facing illness and change and loss what is important and crucial is that we see what is essential and let go of the rest. Our minds need not wander down too many paths–Time is too short –The quest for simplicity and focus is the hardest thing of all.