Brother-who-blogs did a blog posting recently about not sweating the small stuff. It reminded me that forty years ago I used to pass a church in Leeds that had a notice outside which it changed on a regular basis (not something that was as common then as it is now). It wasn’t the ‘Jesus loves you’ type of notice it was a small comment relevant to daily life. One of the best and longest lasting in my mind was “What did you worry about this time last week, last month, last year?”
I wonder if the vicar – probably now passed on – ever realised how effective his notices were. It would have been nice to have told him. Presumably if what he believed in generally was correct then he’s up there somewhere and perhaps reading this as I think of him!
As for his notice, I think it could also be adapted for those who are grieving. It could have read – “How different was your grief this time last week, last month, last year?” Depending upon whose death or what loss causes our grief it can last for years but it can be important to recognise that it changes as time goes on. Apart from generally being less harsh and crippling as the days and weeks and months go by, it also can change from a sadness at the loss to a recognition that the time one had the proximity of the person is something to be celebrated and thankful for.
When my son died I was, naturally, shattered, but at no stage did Jo or I ever want to take his picture down and pretend he hadn’t been in our lives. It seems to me that way lies the route to the psychoanalyst and years and years of hiding from grief only to have it hit you at some stage in your life when you least expect it. As it was we celebrated his life, put even more photos up, talked about him endlessly and even though we both rarely mention him to each other nowadays I doubt there’s a day goes by without something brings him to mind.
When Daughter-who-takes-photos got married to Son-in-law-and-friend-who-loves-otters recently the ceremony was tremendously moving. There was so much emotion in the air – so much happiness, so much love, so much friendliness and so much genuineness (I can’t think of a better word for the spirit in which the marriage was entered into). It’s not often I get moved to tears but that event did so. I had tears in my eyes and on occasion had to look down (which looks in some of the photos as though I wasn’t interested in the ceremony!) and then I saw this on the back of the programme.
How wonderful of them to think of Martin, Yolande and David as sharing in their ceremony.
A friend has recently lost her father and while one can do nothing to help with the rawness of the grief one can hope that it is not too long before it gives way to a remembrance of all the good times they shared.
Pencil Drawings by Laurie Lipton
1 hour ago