The unsung heroes among us By Anassa K
The unsung heroes among us
By Anassa K
There are always people in the world who go unnoticed yet have touched the lives of so many people it's difficult to measure, but you know they did because you were one of them. They are the 'unsung heroes', those who go above and beyond what is asked of them in life.
I just found out today that a person I had known for over 20 years had died just over a year ago. We were not friends as such and did not move in the same circles so that is why I did not know sooner but it did not come as any less of a shock. This person may not have been a friend in the traditional sense, but he was at the same time much more than just an acquaintance. He was a listener and a guide though he would probably hate to be described as the latter.
I won't use his name as he never looked for fame or fortune, or even any publicity or recognition for what he did. He was an energy healer I turned to now and again when my batteries died but not just for health and nutrition advice but also in the realm of the personal and spiritual. I'll refer to him as M.
The only reason I found out that he was gone from this world was that I dreamt about him twice in the last week and decided to drop him a quick line to see how he was doing in the Covid era. I hadn't seen him since February 2020 due to lockdowns and the like, and he had said he planned to retire later in the summer at the grand old age of 60.
As it turned out, one of my dreams had come on the anniversary of his death. His wife, whom I had never met, kindly answered my email telling me when he had died. He had passed suddenly and peacefully "just like he always wanted and deserved", she said. I can only conclude I had those two dreams, even though the details are muddy, because it was time for me to find out he'd gone.
M's office was quiet over the past five years or so as he decided to cut back on the workload. Before that it was always busy, full of people, young people, middle-aged people and many elderly coming in for their treatment. I used to be in awe of the way so many pensioners embraced this alternative therapy but perhaps it was more to do with the person providing it. My mother loved going there when she would visit because she didn't often relax and she had to stay for two hours at a time, giving her no other option but to sit still and do some navel gazing. It did her good.
M was always patient, always picked up the phone to answer people's questions, always had time to talk to everyone who came in about their lives, not just their treatments. There was no such thing as just going in for an appointment and being dispatched to the other room for the therapy and then being ushered out the door when it was over. You could stay as long as you wished, one hour, two, three. Whatever you needed. He also treated many people for free. He said he always knew who to charge and who not to charge.
He wasn't just treating people. He touched their lives. He never took credit but always attributed his successes to a higher power, not to himself. Somehow, I always thought he of all people would be around for a long, long time to come. He would be the one I would go to with all of my old-age aches and pains and I'd live to be 100. Maybe I still will, not because he boosted my depleted batteries so many times, but because of what I learned from him over the years.
It's odd sometimes the way certain people come into your life. I had gone to work at the newspaper just one Tuesday morning. I don't know why I remember it was a Tuesday when I can't exactly remember the year - sometimes in the late nineties - and my boss asked me to interview this alternative therapist who was having some legal issues with the medical association as I recall.
It was only when he told me it was M, I took more of an interest because I was already vaguely acquainted with him through another channel that had nothing to do with alternative therapies, and I had no idea that was what he was doing for a living.
I was happy to have a chance to help him out with an article, especially as the medical association had tried to have him prosecuted as a charlatan doctor when in fact the therapy he was offering could in no way be described as a medical intervention. It was not even a hands-on therapy.
He said later the article had really helped with his case and offered me a treatment. I jumped at the chance as I was already interested in alternative therapies and in spiritual paths, although I was not aware then that he was also into that and this only came out in conversation. I was thrilled to find someone who had been on a spiritual path for so long and knew so much when personally I knew very little and was probably very naive.
I remember at some point during an early conversation him sort of sizing me up and saying: "Anassa, I'm not a guru" as if he knew exactly what I was thinking.
Nevertheless, he was an incredible guide in his own way, often cryptic as if he knew something but was not allowed to tell me. Sometimes he would drop helpful hints. I learned so much from him over the years from when my visits were regular and frequent and then regular but infrequent. And it was not only in these matters. It was the health and nutrition advice, discussions on local politics, and also treatments for which he never charged me one cent for 20 years.
I remember one December I went into his office and he said I was getting the flu. I felt fine at the time but the flu did indeed manifest a few weeks later. Another time I went to him in tears after being up all night with a back pain. Two hours later it was gone and it did not return for more than a year.
There were so many occasions that he helped when I would go there exhausted and he would tell me I was running on 10 per cent of my energy levels. I used to joke with him that he was saving my life all the time. He would just glance at me and say: "I know what you need". I sincerely believe that he did save my life, and that of many others.
I ran into M once on Ledra Street where he used to go for lunch sometimes and sat with him a few minutes on my way back to work. My teenage daughter happened to be passing by with a friend and when she was out of sight, he just turned and said: "your daughter has a beautiful soul".
It was something I thought she needed to hear as she was a very 'prickly' person on the outside and quite low in self-confidence. I believe that simple comment 15 years ago changed her perception of herself for the better, simply because M had said it and she believed him. Call it tosh if you will, whatever the mechanism, it worked.
There are countless incidences of such insights, advice and help over the years. I am sure many others in Cyprus feel the same way, so the internet needs to know for posterity that there are people like M who worked quietly for so many years helping others while seeking little in return. He didn't have to do what he did. He didn't need the money and he was a fully qualified professional but gave up the corporate life to do something more meaningful.
My real acquaintance with M started with an article about him so it seems fitting it should end with one, which in some way allows me to repay him in the only way I can, with words.