My mother passed away at the end of May, just a few short weeks ago. She had been trapped in the strange world of Alzheimer’s disease for a number of years, slowing disappearing, little by little. We were so lucky that she didn’t lose her sweet character, her love of laughter or sharing a story and occasionally we saw the twinkle return to her eye when she recognised one of us. Although she had a foot in two worlds for years, her loss is still huge. Continue reading Bereavement… running with my grief
Every now and then things happen that allow me to value the lifestyle that we have created for ourselves, the choices that we have made that led to us living in the hills, living in the slow lane.
It doesn’t always feel as though we are living in the slow lane because we have so much to do and of course I know that we are not the only ones who feel overwhelmed by the everyday list Continue reading Slow Time
We are traveling next week, traveling further than we do on a weekly basis where, because of living in a remote area we travel regularly, we travel to the shops in the bigger town for more variety and better prices, we travel for our weekly Tai Chi class and to get really good coffee, freshly roasted in Co Leitrim. Sometimes we travel for about 3hours, nearly 100miles to see family, to walk by the sea and to visit my mum, who due to Alzheimers disease, does a lot of traveling herself, often time traveling decades in minutes.
Loss is never easy. Letting go can be difficult too. I lost a wonderful friend and teacher last week when after a long illness she passed away peacefully.
I am grateful to have had this friend in my life for the last seven years or so, I can’t count the blessings that have followed me since I first met her, the amazing friendships that have resulted from knowing her, the tears and laughter that have flowed.
I have difficulty letting go of things. I still wear clothing that is older than some of my grown up nephews and nieces so letting go is something that I’m learning to work on.
Letting go of people is even harder. I believe that when we hold on we restrain the spirit from continuing on it’s journey, whatever that journey may be. It’s not our business to hold on, it is our business to let go. I know I’m lucky that this death was not unexpected so I didn’t have the violence of surprise to deal with, also that this is not the first death of someone close to me. However I’m not sure that death is something you become used to, even after many losses, I’m not sure it’s something you become good at accepting. I do know that support is a great help, that it’s wonderful to talk with people who loved the departed, to tell stories, to weep together, to say how you feel right now, to ask friends to light candles. It’s not a time to pretend to be all grown up, death can make children of us all.
On the evening of her funeral I took a walk up the hill behind us, through the forest, as the light was fading. The wind was blowing hard to the north, clouds were flying on the wind as were my thoughts and tears. In the pocket of my old rain coat my fingers found a beach pebble, I often find pebbles in coat or jacket pockets, usually placed there shortly after getting the clothing so this pebble was probably in my pocket for some fifteen years or more. I played with it as I walked, enjoying the texture, it helped me to feel present.
I sang a song that was special to us and wondered how to let her go, I didn’t want to, I wanted to hold on to her selfishly, to bind her to me however I knew that I couldn’t. I knew that I had too much respect for her and had learnt too much from her to hold on so I waited for the panic to subside, then I let go of the pebble.