Bereavement Blog June2014
Oh dear! Literally months have passed without a contribution from me. Probably all four of my readers will have given up on me completely by now! Actually it hasn't been a case of not bothering to write or even not having anything to say, but it has taken a bit of reflection on my part to see what has been happening to me lately.
The time has come to 'down size', to make a serious attempt to sort through the detritus of the past, pass it on or chuck it out. This is ongoing at the moment and it is not easy. There's that shoe box stuffed with love letters from my children, their writing all over pages illustrated with age appropriate portraits of the loved characters in their lives. There's the blanket I knitted for babies long grown, photos of loved and lost friends, scribbled reminders of past events all of which have no value other than being a frail thread of connection between that past life and the present one.
Some of the items I know I should be parting with, connect more powerfully with the past than others. These items resonate with feeling about someone I have loved and lost. The front of a fairisle jumper my mother was knitting for me when she died, more than fifty years ago now and yet still I see her fingers on the needles, the wool unwinding on her lap and falling to the flour. Notes from my brother, a tiny dress belonging to my baby daughter, these valueless objects which most people would feel to be long past their 'use by' date are touchable, huggable, sniffable things holding their position on the line of transition between then, when our loved one was here, and now, when they have gone.
Animals, especially, can play this role. The dog who's silky head was stroked by the hand of the loved one is your companion in loneliness and loss. The budgie who says that expletive exactly as he did; such a comfort for a season and then such a sorrow when they have to leave us too.
I am sorry if my writing this time is grey and low. I suppose I am exploring with you my understanding of that small room in the house of grief labelled 'Getting Rid of the Stuff'. Doing it at the beginning is hard isn't it. We know it will be and sometimes we find that having the help of a good friend makes it a little easier. Sometimes though we can be taken by painful surprise when, further down the road we discover the power of the transitional object.
I doubt that this blog will be helpful to anyone else but I have found it to be so; expressing my feeling about that mixed blessing known as 'downsizing'!
Thank you for 'listening'