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LOST & FOUND… how sharing a loss, helped find some healing

In the lead up to Christmas this year, a beautiful person in my life and the lives of so many of my extended family died and so, just days before life was supposed to turn festive, came a funeral.

Christmas, with its traditions based on the Christian belief in the birth of Christ, seems at odds with the subject matter of death, but in a strange way this year, the meaning of Christmas felt all the more real, because of it.

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With it being a family funeral and overseas, the blessing of this event was that it involved spending days and nights around the kitchen table with family… which became a cherishing and wholesome experience, the birth of something new and precious, post loss, and because of it.

There is such a pairing back at times of death, where everyone is at there most real and vulnerable, where communication somehow seems to be underpinned by a deep-seated seeking for, and soothing from, connection. We are reminded of our need for each other, and our need to love and be loved by each other… which of course was the purpose of that first Christmas o so long ago.

And there’s a sincere desire to soothe and comfort each other through sorrow, another instinctive but powerful connection which runs invisibly between those mourning and bereaved, a natural urge, reciprocated and valued as being the very medicine needed for sorrow’s wounds.

So together we appreciated each other for the understanding and shared sorrow, that invisible yet enormous bond connecting us there. And we appreciated the life that had passed, a life that we all knew had enriched our own, and that we joyfully learned had enriched so many other lives too.

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Through food and many cups of tea, came the gateways to chat, to laughter, to tears, to memories, over plates of precious home made food, served up with warmth and kindness, love and concern, and appreciation by both hosts and guests for the comfort, care, and oneness those mealtimes and hot brews brought to each other, in spite of the sadness of the loss being endured by all.

On the plane home, I reflected how comforting and special a time it had been with family, and how at other times in life where things have been difficult, (like when I was ill from many cardiac issues… see blog archives), how those same simple props helped my family and I cope with the sorrow, grief and loss of those times.

The comforting recipe of family, food, a kitchen table, and pots of tea is, I believe, the glue that helps put the the fragile parts of us back together when life breaks us. Such healing medicine, though never likey to be prescribed, is indeed so valuable for recovery from life’s ills, like a magic pill of sorts, that goes down easy and has some beautiful and long-lasting side effects.

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When I returned home to my own home after the journey, I found myself wanting to hug my children more, welcoming the signs of them being alive and there, even the scattered shoes inside the front door and Quality Street wrappers all over the couch, both of which would normally drive me nuts, suddenly comforted and reassured, that all was not lost, and that what remained was to be so treasured.

As Christmas continued, some nights, there were gatherings in front of the fire to chat… the sound of crackling flames a soothing backdrop for honesty, for reflection, or for some quiet time, when this backdrop accompanied time alone and the silent shedding of tears. 

This last Christmas will always be the Christmas where so many in my family lost a beautiful soul, but too a Christmas where there was perhaps a more conscious and soul nourishing connection between all those bereaved, a rekindling of appreciation for all those around us, stronger hugs, and more concern and thought for others bereaved than in other years.

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I will forever be grateful to that beautiful soul for giving such a parting and meaningful gift to us all. It seems only fitting therefore to end with this beautiful song as a tribute to him.

Le gra

Pauline ❤️ 

For other blogs by Pauline, please view blog archive

To follow blog click link here. To follow Pauline’s other work, see here.

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