Farewell and then what?

 

Busying myself today as always but today I guess  was somewhat different, usually I am in the zone, mind focused on the task, exploring without any peripheral thought patterns getting in the way.  Today’s experiment was making a whelk shell, why, cannot begin to tell you why, it just came to me, thought I would try to replicate the ridges by wrapping thin spaghetti type strings of extruded clay.  Just could not concentrate and my usual attention to detail was eroded by constant memories of the past.  Ok for a first attempt……..

What do you do when someone dies?    Said farewell to my stepfather on Friday, my brother’s eulogy summed up his life extremely well, beautiful words about quite a remarkable man.   Me, I said nothing, wished I had and had a real urge to stand up and say my farewells to the man I knew as a young girl when he met my mum and married her………  then thought better of it, took a deep breath and remembered it was all so long ago…….  He went on to marry Ruth, they were together for 30 years when  Peter departed this world, a really lovely lady who is going to miss him so much.  I remember my mum dying so suddenly nearly 25 years ago now, think I became a workaholic to numb the pain of that very sudden and tragic loss…..  and as time has marched past more and more have left this world , loved ones, friends and contemporaries.

Then the lingering thought that the long queue of ageing relatives that at one time were in front of me has all of a sudden become very short!  I don’t want to “not think about it”  I don’t want to live as if it’s not going to happen to me………….  I want to accept it and not be scared of it and leave that fear with my children to deal with……..  I want to both live and die with grace.

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The passing of another day, another life

Its been awhile since I posted, in fact it was in the early hours of December 8th.  the day a very close and dear freind, my ex husband died,  It was to be only a few hours before I received a call to say to get to the hospital straight away, his vital signs were dropping.   We were with him to the end.  The funeral was yesterday, such a beautiful service where my children and I paid tribute to him in the best way we knew how, and that was to reflect his big laugh, his ability to tell a wonderful story and his very engaging personality.

Although we had gone our separate ways some while ago, whatever it was that connected us all those years ago when I met him at 16, it was still there at the end, guess its true, that love never dies.  Living with Bruce was an amazing roller coaster ride, when the ups were up they flew into the cosmos, when they were down, it plummeted to amazing depths.  Life is more stable now but I am trying to remember all the good times of our earlier life together and the more recent times.  It was only a few short weeks ago we were sitting in the early winter sunshine sharing a coffee and a sandwich and chatting about old times, it bought a smile to both our faces and we laughed together.  Death is so final, it was such a shock and so quick that I am still coming to terms with it.

Watching this incredible sunset last night I realised how beautiful an ending can be, for in a few short hours the sun will rise again, Bruce will rise again on the next part of his journey, I like to think he is travelling back into the cosmos, his souls purpose  now over on this earth and he  will shine down on us, a beautiful star in the heavens

Rest in Peace dear Brucie

When A Good Mother Sails From This World


Mending the Sails by Joaquín Sorolla y BastidaAlthough Mothers Day here in the UK bas been and gone, my mother, as always, is ever present in my mind.  

This year for the first time I was able visit her grave with my daughter and feel that I had at last come to terms with her death, felt that just like the libretto below, that I too had managed to weave together the threads of  her light into a  beautiful set of sails.  This beautiful boat with its magnificent rigging is majestically riding the waves and atop is the beautiful red flag of my mother. 

when I read this piece it took my breath away, it spoke to me in so many ways and confirmed  just what I have been feeling.  My mother will always be with me, wherever I travel, her spirit and love lives deep within my soul.  

WHEN A GOOD MOTHER SAILS FROM THIS WORLD

The following piece is actually an excerpt from women.life.song a libretto written by Dr Clarissa Pinkola Estes, commissioned and performed by Jessaye Norman in 2000 at Carnegie Hall.  

When I say, ‘My mother has died’,
I mean my ‘most beloved’.
Leave me to myself now,
for I am a ship who’s
lost her riggings;
suddenly
come unmoored.

My mother has died;
She has earned her rest now,
waiting only, and proudly so,
for her sails
to be taken down.

I, the daughter,
see to the mending of my mother’s sails;
I seek her
worn and broken
threads of light,
reweaving her dazzling linen.

And though there be broken threads
not able to be rewoven,
I will gently pull the edges together
and stitch one side to the other…
and if not able to be mended,
then I will patch with parts
from my own most earnest life
over the places where my mother’s life
was worn through,
. . . or never was.

Over time, the sails of the mothership
will be fitted to the daughtership;
raised up on the mainsail,
and the final touch –
the red ragged flag – hers –
will be flying topmast of my ship.

I’ll be let down into the waters then,
I, the daughter, will glide again…
but this time, under the best sails
inherited from my mother…
and all the mothers of the motherlines
before her.

Ay, Mother, let me tell you
my treasured dearie-dear,
one last thing I have learned
from your spirit passing through me
as sparkling shadow passes
through darkening shadow,
on this open night-sea journey…

I am learning to navigate
by the mysteries of the farthest stars –
the ones that the great wake of your passing
has revealed to me
for the very first time.



 

Dr Clarissa Pinkola Estes