Life giveth and taketh…

buddahWe are now 50 weeks from Carys’s death, and the anniversary is looming large on our horizon.  I find several thoughts coming to me at this time.  Firstly, and somewhat ironically, is a reflection on the Jewish burial customs & rites of the dead.  As as race that comes from hot climes, they bury their dead within 24 hours.  One year on, they have their stone setting ceremony which is much closer to the Christian burial rites.  When I attended these stone settings and was further from the epicentre of grief,it felt like this was a rather barbaric ritual that ripped open the freshly healing scars.  From the inside, it takes on rather different perspective, it feels much more like setting the seal on a year of grieving.  As a Jewish friend pointed out to me today, during this year you have been through one full cycle of holidays and anniversaries without them.

The other thought is not such a new one, but is none-the-less poignant.  If Carys had not been such an exceptional mother to my children, then their grief might have been the less.  However, it was her very gift that allows them to deal with this in the way that they have.  Life giveth with one hand and taketh with the other…

I don’t know how we will spend the day of her anniversary yet, but I intend to set her stone, albeit it in a ritual fashion.  I’d like to think that we might feel able to to go and have a nice meal and celebrate her life too as she was the very embodiment of ‘food is love’.

4 Responses to “Life giveth and taketh…”

  1. Cornelis de Maijer says:

    Beautifully written Richard, it resonates fully with me and you are right. We have done the same when our mother passed away, after a year we had a big dinner…and indeed, as she said it before: Food is Love…Our theme was “Celebrate your memories” (how difficult that can be sometimes). My thoughts with you all.

  2. Cornelis,
    Thank you for sharing this . It certainly resonates with our feelings

  3. Ruth Edwards says:

    Richard,
    how short a year seems – in some ways – and an age in others…and you are still offering us amazing insights. You know how i feel about you leaving this wonderful human trail of breadcrumbs on a subject many feel awkward about sharing and talking about… I think your contribution from your own journey here has been amazing. I hope that with every persons similar journey there is more openness like yours that will influence others to embrace that as part of their healing process
    I am thinking of you… and know that you will celebrate Carys.

    (By the way… will be attending to the homework you have set me and handing that in shortly!!!)

  4. Ruth, I certainly hope this can help others through this ‘briar patch’

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