Saturday, 18 October 2014

Reflection 127 (condolences)


I was almost 6 when my grandmother died
Shortly after her death, my grandfather walked into our kitchen
And he showed me a ring, saying it was the ring of my grandmother
I did not know what to say
I did not know what to do
I just give him a smile
And he was not too pleased with it,
saying these were no 'laughing'-matters
An aunty of my father who happened to be in our kitchen said
Oh stop, he is just a child.
I was only a child and I did not know what to say or do. 

Later my other grandmother, my uncles died 
I understood more, I felt the emotions
I learned to express condolences
But I did still not know what else to say or do in the moments

I was very grief struck when my own mother died when I was 33
Many  people came and expressed condolences
I remember one friend who seemed to know what to say and do.
He came over and talked about the feeling of guilt
We feel guilt for things we did that our love one didn't like
and for things we didn't do (or didn't do enough) that they like
And this guilt is often the worst feeling and bitterest part of our grief.
That is true.
Then he added that people we love most, we forgive automatically
Even if the person we love does not ask forgiveness, we still forgive
that is also true.
And being aware of this can relieve some of the guilt we tend to feel.
It made me feel better and relieved some bitterness.

This was really good for me.
When I met grieving people after that,
I tried to talk about guilt.
But not everyone is the same
Some people may be helped by it
Some people not.

Recently one of my very close working colleagues lost both parents in one day
I felt as lost for words and deeds as before my mother died.

 All of us will die.
 Some earlier, some later.
 But all will die.
 Every day, every hour, every second is a moment closer to our death.

If we have known great people, extremely dear to us,
we can be angry because they are no longer here
or we can be grateful for having known them.
This is an oversimplification.
Definitely we miss our loved ones
But the way we miss can be very different 

I pray for strength
for all grieving people
for my colleague.
for all.

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