I now have a ‘new’ laptop (one of daughter’s old ones), although I still don’t know how to upload photos from my camera (hence use of Unsplash image above). Since my last post, my dear friend died (lung cancer), I led her funeral on 11th December, which was the same day my one-and-only auntie died (motor neuron disease) her funeral was 2nd January, and today is the first anniversary of Lilian’s death (brain tumour)…
We have lost three amazing woman to three horrible deaths, and those who knew and loved them have been changed by their passing. Three sad husbands are trying to navigate the world without their life-partners, women they had known and loved for over 50 years, women who helped them define their place, their role, their direction…
While the internet is full of ‘new year, new you’ fluff, these three men are redefining themselves in ways they didn’t choose – they never wanted to be ‘widowers’, they never wanted to be the ones left behind. And as their friends, as well as processing our own grief, we are walking alongside them, spending time with them, inviting them to events.
I am deeply grateful to my own hubby, who is stepping up, especially when I can’t (whenever I’m physically/emotionally exhausted), and my dad (who in June will have been a widower of 20 years) – these two amazing men are being present and available to these three newly grieving men…
This first post of 2020 is not meant to be morbid or morose, but to uphold a vital truth: To really appreciate and value the joy and possibility each new day holds, we need to remember death is never far away. The created world ‘knows’ each new bud, each new snowdrop contains the beginnings of its own decay – it’s not morbid, it’s the honest reality of the world we inhabit.
I describe myself as a ‘realistic Romantic’, a fan of the English Romantic poets and authors, I ascribe to the wisdom of William Blake’s ‘Auguries of Innocence’ (1863):
To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour
To be fully alive is to hold joy and sorrow as equally important. The big and the small are two sides of the same coin.