It’s a strange thing, grief.  We think of it as a process which moves in a linear way.  We think we are making progress forwards.  And then there is a moment, a memory, a scent, or piece of music.  Even the sight of a familiar food, and we are again ambushed by a wave of grief, washing over us.

Today, by some unseen alignment, two different posts arrived in my feed, both about grief and loss.  And at a time when there are seasonal prompts and reminders of my own grief. The birthday my father would have celebrated earlier this month.  The season reminding me that this time last year I made the sudden decision to return to Scotland to spend final days with my father.

Marie writes in her post, Still alive in a wound still fresh, about those unexpected moments when we see or read something which speaks to us with a strength which takes our breath away.  The other post I read today, beautifully titled Live forever, provides a privileged insight into the influences and memories of a mother and grandfather:

Two people who live forever in my heart had birthdays last week, my Grandfather and my Mother. Both were very dear to me during the time we shared and both continue to play a role in my life. They’re in my thoughts, my memories, my sense of who I am and how I want to lead my life

This resonates too with my own processing and coming to terms with that strangeness of grief.  I wrote last year that grief is within us, not without.  And that means that the love and memory for those we have lost lives on within us, along with the values and influences which shape and guide us.

Signs of spring - Lismore

Signs of spring – Lismore

The wound is indeed still fresh, our hearts still grieve.  Yet there is a gold nugget of life, that which lives on within us and which we must hold on to and cherish.

13 thoughts on “Waves

  1. A very fitting post for all that has happenened these past couple weeks, and the women who have passed on. I am having trouble writing about grief, so it is good to read your words.

    • So true, Catherine – the past few days and weeks have been so tough. Grief is such a strange thing, and I find that writing is the only way I can deal with it, it is too painful. Warm gentle hugs to you xox

  2. oh, Philippa, thank you for this post. those waves – the ones that come on so suddenly with just the slightest prompt. and it gets so complicated when we suffer such sad and devastating losses in the BC community as well as our own personal losses of loved ones, as well as those which take their toll from the moment we are diagnosed to the ravages of mind, body, and soul from our treatment. loss is cumulative, and grieving fresh wounds often re-open the wounds that still linger. others often just don’t “get it”, but days like today, I am so grateful to have a safe place to land. thank you for that!

    much love and light and lots of warm hugs,

    Karen xox

    • That is so true, Karen, those losses compound and rip open wounds we felt to be starting to heal. The friendships and connections we find online are strong and so meaningful, and losing friends who we may not have met in “real life” does mean it is not painful. I wrote a short poem (https://feistybluegeckofightsback.wordpress.com/2010/11/12/loss/) when I discovered that a woman I had connected with through our blogs had been stolen by her cancer, and I find I revisit it time and time again. Thank you for making this space a safe one, and long may we cherish those we lose, in our hearts.

      Love and light to you too

  3. Philippa, this is a lovely post about such a deeply emotional topic. I did read Marie’s piece, and it also moved me. Just like there’s no right way to “do” cancer, there’s no right way to “do” grief. Sending hugs.

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  5. Hi Feisty~
    Thank you for another comment post on my Going to Goa Blog today. You speak of the same “Waves” that Liam Neeson described in an interview last week and your writing is very poignant. Maybe it’s because I am an artist and none of my process is in a straight line that I do not think of grieving as a linear process nor do I believe it has a destination. Writing like ours helps others to understand it, too, and perhaps helps them in their own time of grief. See http://huff.to/1cv6Wcl by Megan Devine for more insights into how to incorporate grieving into daily life and embrace it as a marker that you loved deeply. I personally do not want to live my life or my love superficially. YOU, my dear, are an inspiration to us all.

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