I had a terrible nights sleep last night, Yep I felt like I was in that vortex ….I remember 5 and 6 am, worrying about work, people I love, life, my car, stupid stuff … Being awake in the dead of night with a couple of foxes for company, staring out the window, looking at the waxing moon. I woke up knackered (after 2 hours sleep)  yet full of ideas for this post and I’m sitting her writing this with wet hair as I needed a bath to wake me up as I was such a zombie.

Ideas about death, love, waiting, patience, hurt, loss all the things we just don’t want to deal with ….a bit morbid maybe it’s the lack off sleep my brain is wired differently today but out it must come.

It’s rather cathartic this whole blogging experience; I’ve also loved to write but not really shared my experiences I’ve blogged a little on 43 things which is a great goal orientated website with a lot of people who enjoy reading and supporting your goals. My writing over the years has mostly been in books, scraps of paper and just for me, though something over the last few months has been pushing me inside to understand this process and just go with it, follow my instincts not sure how long it will last; I just feel it has to be said and it’s helping me get really clear and to understand what really matters in my life.

Which brings me neatly back to death, all types of death

Death of a lover, friend, mother… the coming to terms of it – even the sense of someone leaving on an emotional level, it’s still a “little death” that we don’t talk about, the loss, the shame, the deep aching feeling, the emptiness; it feels like the person has died, as the sense of loss can be so great. Death of a part of yourself, a knowing deep inside that this no longer serves you, relinquishing the ego’s hold on behaviour, habit or obsession that’s holding us back.

I’ve not had many people die close to me just a few… a friend from Wales, my grandmother and my mother, I had never really questioned death much and didn’t really deal (well understand, deal means I had some kind of way to process it) with my grandmothers death: I was only 10 years old when she died,  and a  young 10 at that.

I remember distinctly how it happened as we didn’t have a phone at the time (it was 1977) our neighbour across the road did and that’s how my mum found out.

I never went to the funeral she just disappeared in my head. Before she died I helped look after her as she wasn’t well I knew I wasn’t responsible for her death but my little 10-year-old self thought at the time maybe If I’d looked after her better she wouldn’t have had to go into hospital. I remember visiting her and she was chatty and sitting up in bed being her lovely self, she used to buy me butterscotch sweeties in a little bag… they were foil wrapped little golden bars made by Keillers of Dundee still have a hankering for them today though they aren’t made anymore.

She looked fine to me, well to a 10-year-old everyone is fine, She died the next day as her lung collapsed. I did some counselling in my early 20’s with a therapist who needed people to help her do her counselling course as part of her course work I started to talk about my “nannie” and the emotional flood gates opened; I don’t remember ever crying much about her death but that day on the 1st counselling session, I had an interesting experience of seeing my counsellor literally turn into my grandmother for a minute.

I was genuinely freaked by the experience;  the vision of her made me realise that I was finally acknowledging her and it was ok to actually feel these emotions of the loss and to deeply miss my grandmother.  I had a wonderfully deep bond with her and it helped to come to terms with my vision of her, that she was with me and that comforted me.

Loss, moving on, where do they go?  I have no answers but wherever it is my grandmother & mother are; it’s  in a very peaceful place. The unresolved anger we feel as someone leaves us; to pick up the pieces, we also feel sadness being left behind to comfort ourselves and never really getting over the shock,  it in a sense reminds you of your own mortality and one day we all die. That saddens me; not the dying part, the fact it is such a part of life we don’t reconcile it with ourselves, we suppress, press on and put a brave face on it,never really coming to terms with our feelings. (” Dont’ fight it, feel it” as Scottish band Primal Scream said) See also my mother’s post

Life is so short, really it is and I’ve come to realise that more than ever over the last few months, we’re not really here for very long at all and I’m starting to notice I’m changing (in a good way) being the happiest I can be and treasuring more moments along the way as you just don’t know what is around the corner. The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle

Living in the moment, being true to the essence of who you are and being loving, kind and considerate, I want to be remembered for the feelings I entrusted with people how I made them feel, how I made them laugh, hugged them or just encouraged them along the way as those are the memories that last a lifetime (they may go unrecognised as brilliant worldly successes but to be loved cherished and well-remembered by a few is as good as the adulation of the many) I’m not saying worldly success is unworthy, I suppose it depends what you do with it and how you handle it, it’s just not the “be all” to a happy life.

It’s about priorities, yes I have some great things I want to do and I know I’ll achieve quite a few of them, but it’s the journey, the people, the love, connections, experiences and memories along the way, that make up a life and a way to celebrate the death of someone we love.

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