Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Sacred Space

Over the last few days, I've been dipping in and out of sadness frequently. Certainly this is in part due to working on my hardest writing assignment ever.  One of the reasons that I decided to park up in a conventional camping spot was to take advantage of proper Internet access so that I could use my laptop to write my sister's eulogy for her funeral next week. The clunky intermittent reception on my phone wasn't cutting the mustard for this task. Whilst poring over family memories and poems by others about death I've shed many tears.

I must have written before about how I believe how normal it is to experience a full spectrum of emotions.  Indeed we are blessed if we can.   In the modern Western world we seem far too quick to medicalise those that are deemed unpleasant - anger, sadness and yes, fear in appropriate circumstances.  At a time of great loss, being chipper all the time would be dysfunctional in itself and  deny the meaning behind significant events.   Anaesthesia is not the answer.  And so, I've been lounging in my recliner under the trees where I watch my sadness.  It manifests itself physically.  There's a real sense of heaviness in my heart but also heightened sensitivity in my face which often leads to crying.  My mind empties.  I wonder if there is a degree of dissociation that acts like an internal comfort mechanism. When faced full on, the emotion does not seem unbearable or threatening.

I  found the beautifully named church of Notre Dame de la Joie on my last trip to this part of the Breton region.   It was thoughtfully restored at the end of the last century and seems to be in symbiosis with its coastal environment.  For the rest of our time here it can again be another place where I go to sit, reflect and maybe transform.

11 comments:

  1. You encapsulate so beautifully the sense of loss and bereavement when a dear one has left us.. the grief is overwhelming, and it is right that you allow yourself to cry... trying to keep it all inside will only lead to explosions later on down the line.. I see that you have a young son, and of course he will not know how to reach out and help you feel better, but I think that he will understand why it is that you are so deeply sad. losing a sibling must be one of the hardest as you have known them all your life and grown with them. I do not envy your task of saying goodbye, but I am sure that you will find peace after you have undertaken that task and then as time goes on, you will find respite and quietness once again and remember all those wonderful times you shared together. I hope that you are able to put her to rest with the thoughtfulness shown in your writing and I am sending you lots of hugs and best wishes to try and let you know you are thought of at this time. best wishes, J

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    1. Bless you - such kind words. Louis is being wonderful. I have explained to him that it's inevitable that I'm going to be sad sometimes. He supplies tea and tissues when needed! I don't believe that it's always good to put on a mask of happiness for children. How will they ever learn that it's okay to express emotions themselves if this is the case? xx

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  2. You need to let yourself grieve.Don't bottle it up .You need a good cry.Tell yourself that you have hit the worst point and it will only get better.Probably slowly but it will happen.Thinking about you.Onwards and upwards,Barbarax

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    1. More kindness. Thank you. As I've inferred, grief is natural and healing. I'm going with it. xx

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  3. I am sorry about your sister, yes you need to acknowledge and allow your feelings. That church is a very good place to think and just be.

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    1. Thank you so much Linda. I went back to sit in the church yesterday and also took time to sit under a leafy canopy at the campsite - one of nature's little sanctuary. There are many places where I can also spend time like this when I get home. xx

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  4. Finding those places that let you reflect, remember, dream, and openly grieve is essential. You capture the depth of varying emotions better than I've ever read or ever identified with. I hope you hold onto this place physically and emotionally.

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    1. Thank you Sam. I'm glad I've been able to communicate in a way that you relate to so well. xx

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  5. It is a difficult time as you know; allowing yourself to grieve can only be a good thing, it will lead to healing. xx

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    1. Yep, worked that out! Thanks Toffeeapple. xx

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  6. Well I never. I found your blog today (via the vandog blog) and it struck me how many things I have in common with this stranger on the web. I too am an OT working in the NHS (grimace) and am about your age I'm guessing (with kids). I long, nay dream, of living in a rustic camper and being free from the financial and other constraints and 'normal' expectations in this country. And I too have lost my sister (who also would have been 47 this year), and I am looking at her picture now with tears in my eyes. I know she is waiting for me and I will see her again in heaven. But I miss her now. Thanks for your honesty and faithful blogging. And all comfort to you for your sister. Keep up the good work.

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