I think perhaps our view of death changes as we become more intimately acquainted with it. We are so flawed ... each and every one of us. To ask a human to reflect fully the nature of The Divine is surely to ask the impossible. That does not in itself change the nature of The Divine ... should such an entity exist.
I remember what faith felt like. I remember believing with (what I believed was) all of my heart. I was quite happy in my naivety as only teenagers can be. Faith seemed to me to be a simple choice. I chose to believe and in so doing I took a leap of faith. Thus I started the process of building a construct in my mind hinged upon certain inviolable truths.
The problem was twofold. The truths were not inviolable, and the builder wasn't either. The construct was too flimsy. It could not and did not withstand the batterings of Real Life. As the construct destructed a ground zero was created where once there had been the semblance of faith.
I am flawed. The people around me are flawed. Should I believe what they say? Should they believe me? The way we compensate for this "flawed-ness" is beyond me. There are too many things one can choose to believe in ... a menu of faiths too long and too complex exists to confuse and confound ... and yet there exists this yearning to believe.
I was watching a movie recently. The teacher in this movie was holding a cup of tea. He poured the tea onto the table and some of it dripped onto the floor. It was still tea. It had not changed it's nature by escaping the confines of the cup. He used this as an analogy for the life force that exists within us. It does not change when we die, it merely escapes the confines of our body.
Analogies always break down eventually under the pressure of ever closer scrutiny. Their purpose is not to withstand such scrutiny but to open our minds to new ways of thinking.
Some days I feel almost as if mum is watching over me. I imagine that I can hear her voice in my mind and I think I know what she is going to say before I hear the words. Very much as I did when she was alive. It still seems inconceivable to me that all of her is just gone. That there isn't something left over in some form beyond our collective memories of her.
I wish that what I used to believe could be made more believable so that I could once again take shelter in faith. Real life batters the heart that's for sure.
The reproduction isn't great but then this photo is over 70 years old! This is my mother as a young girl. I like this picture. It's the one we used for the final page on her funeral order of service. Can you see that stubborn chin and mouth configuration? Maybe it's just that I see what I see.
It's just over 8 weeks since I held my mothers hand and looked into her eyes as she died. Dying is not how they depict it in the movies. Maybe it is though and Mum just decided to die differently from all those others ... it wouldn't surprise me that!
What has surprised me is how I am feeling about things. I still cry first thing in the morning, last thing at night and at odd times during the day. I still feel wobbly and unsure of myself on an emotional level just generally. In other words I feel like I am not coping as well as I should be.
I don't know how to make it better ... maybe because I can't make it better. Grieving is hard that's for sure.
Yesterday we celebrated Oliver's 10th birthday. This is his Big Sister Kate with the rather magnificent pavlova she made for the occasion. Oliver has good taste when it comes to cake / pudding / whatever you want to call it. As long as you can put candles on it, it's all good. My Little Sister Kath is her mum and is standing beside Kate ... Kath is also Oliver and William's mum and the best sister in the whole wide world. The pavlova was totally scrumptious. Macerated strawberries inside which you can't see but created a cloud inside of pink loveliness.
Despite the sadness there is also joy and life carrying on. John was with us for the day which I'm very happy about. He doesn't like pavlova ... can you imagine that? At least he loves us! We love him too. William is being especially nice to his Grandad. Small children understand more about grief than we sometimes give them credit for. Amazing how a hand hold can be more comforting than any words could hope to convey.
Oh and one other photo just because this one makes me smile. Kaths three children all together. William (eyes closed aged 7), Oliver aged 10, Kate aged perfect.