Funerals and Friendship

Funerals and Friendship

Happy Wednesday!

Computer is fixed but the format is different on lots of things. My keyboard is also playing silly games and does not want to type doubles and is mising out leters (just like that!!). So, if I miss any, please understand that it is my impatience to get this written and not mispelling that is the cause.

This week I have discovered something about friendship and bereavement. One of my oldest (as in we've been friends forever) friends lost her dad last week. A strange phrase indeed that we use to say that someone has died. It makes it sound like we merely misplaced our loved one and that they will turn up again at any time, doesn't it? This might not actually be as far from the truth as we think as some of us believe in life after death and subsequent lives.So, rather than our loved one turn up beside us again, I believe that we'll turn up beside them and it will be like we never lost them in the first place.It's the inbetween bit that is the difficult bit, isn't it. The bit between us losing them and them finding us.

 

There is no time frame for "feeling better". I look back at the 19 years since I lost my own father. I avoided grief altogether for the first 2 years because I was in a different country and didn't have to visit my parents and rediscover that he was gone.............not there............missing.............lost! And then I was busy being a mum and working and being busy and being busy and being busy..............deliberately to keep myself from thoughts of many varieties including "I miss my dad"

I have stopped using being busy as a coping mechanism these days and I try to acknowledge how I'm feeling. I felt aggitated and fragile the day of my friends dads funeral. It was like a feeling of impending doom.

 

I didn't cry at my father's funeral-I promised myself I wouldn't. I'd be strong and everyone would say "wow"!!! Not something I would now recommend as a way to deal with grief. Far better to go with how you are really feeling and get the grieving proces started. It took me 10 yrs to start it........again, not recommended.

I think my dread for yesterdays funeral was that it would be like losing my own dad all over again and it was. I felt raw and unhinged. Bill had said that it would be okay for me to not go but I had to. Friends support friends...........it's what we do and so I went and I let my tears fall when they came. They were a mixture of my own grief and of watching my friend in such pain experiencing hers. I stood at the back sending love and support to her and I knew that it was right that I was there.

Most of my memories of her dad are from when we were teenagers and he teased me continually about everything and anything. A lovely man who was a part of my life at the same time as Donny Osmond, which made 2 things about the day stand out. The first being the fact that I saw and bought a special edition magazine celebrating the teen magazine " Jackie" that morning. It had Donny on the front and I knew that I had to get it to give my friend. It would make her smile. The second thing was that they were playing "The Twelfth of Never" as we entered the crematorium. It wasn't Donnys version but it struck a very big nerve.

I remember my mum saying that people avoided her after her dad died because they felt awkward. Her words probably make me do the opposite because she said how lonely she felt in her grief.

I suppose that my message this week would be for you to reach out to anyone you know who has been bereaved. Don't think that you have to have something to say to them. Give them a hug or just a smile that says you care. Offer your friendship and support. Remember that there are lots of "firsts" that they will have to go through and that just because the time is passing by doesn't mean they've healed. 2nd, 3rd, 4th years and beyond can be just as difficult or like me, attending a funeral 19 yrs later can make everything as raw as the day you lost your loved one.

On a footnote (and because apparently mentioning the Bach Flower remedies as many times as possible makes me easier to find online)                                                                                                                The Bach Flower Remedies are fantastic at helping people to deal with and to process grief. Plain old Rescue remedy is as good as anything, initially but there are many to help you move through the grieving process.

And on that note I bid you godnight or goodnight even,

Lx

 

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