Slowly looking ahead

I am attempting to reconnect slowly.  There are so many heartfelt messages to respond to, the practical tasks to take care of, the need to take time with each other and the understanding that we are moving through this grieving process.

My father has been laid to rest, and I believe he is at peace on the island which was home. The winds howled, cancelling ferries the day before, the rains hammered down, warm words of comfort were shared and tears were shed.  It was surely a day to remember, for a multitude of reasons.  Those memories evoke a complex mix of sadness, loss, love, peace and thankfulness.

I am sharing here some of the words which were spoken, and some of the images of the day.

He is Gone

You can shed tears that he is gone,
or you can smile because he has lived.
You can close your eyes and pray that he’ll come back,
or you can open your eyes and see all he’s left.
Your heart can be empty because you can’t see him,
or you can be full of the love you shared.
You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday,
or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday.
You can remember him only that he is gone,
or you can cherish his memory and let it live on.
You can cry and close your mind,
be empty and turn your back.
Or you can do what he’d want:
smile, open your eyes, love and go on.”

(David Harkins)

***

 They are not dead,
Who leave us this great heritage of remembering joy.

They still live in our hearts,
In the happiness we knew, in the dreams we shared.

They still breathe,
In the lingering fragrance, windblown, from their favourite flowers.

They still smile in the moonlight’s silver,
And laugh in the sunlight’s sparking gold.

They still speak in the echoes of the words we’ve heard them say again and again.

They still move,
In the rhythm of waving grasses, in the dance of the tossing branches.

They are not dead;
Their memory is warm in our hearts, comfort in our sorrow.

They are not apart from us, but part of us,

For love is eternal,
And those we love shall be with us throughout all eternity.
Anon

***

Celtic Blessing
May the roads rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back,
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
The rain fall soft upon your fields
And, until we meet again,
May God hold you in the hollow of his hand.
Anon

Leaving Oban as the dawn breaks, over quieter waters than the eve

Leaving Oban as the dawn breaks, over quieter waters than the eve

DSC_0148 DSC_0149 DSC_0156

In this spirit, we are looking forward and preparing a fitting and meaningful plan in his memory.

The Malcolm Miller, of the former Sail Training Association (now Tall Ships Youth Trust) Image from http://www.orpheusweb.co.uk/bob.williams/sailtrain/1998-2001.htm

The Malcolm Miller, of the former Sail Training Association (now Tall Ships Youth Trust)
Image from http://www.orpheusweb.co.uk/bob.williams/sailtrain/1998-2001.htm

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20 thoughts on “Slowly looking ahead

  1. Phillippa I am so sorry for your loss and your words and pictures are so incredibly touching .Please accept my condolences and sending love and prayers to you and your family.

  2. What a beautiful and heartfelt post. The words and the photos so lovingly express as you said, the “complex mix of sadness, loss, love, peace and thankfulness.” I am so sorry for your loss. Hang onto the memories, the treasures of your heart.

  3. Phillippa, I am sorry for your loss. This is a beautiful post with wonderful photos, memories and very touching. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

  4. While I do not know you, Phillippa, I am with you in sorrow and thank you for sharing those moving, meaningful and comforting words, which I posted to my Facebook page. My husband died suddenly 20 months ago at age 71 and in the searing sadness of my loss I am grateful to be reminded that his life and his love will always live on within me.

    • Thank you so much for your moving words. I am so sorry for the loss of your husband. I am warmed that there has been comfort for both of us in the words which I found meaningful in my loss.

  5. Philippa, I am so sorry for your loss. You’ve used lovely words in his memory, and I’m sure that has touched many hearts. Hugs, prayers and love, Jan

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