We all experience the loss of someone we love or admire at some point in our lives. Recently we seem to have lost a glut of high-profile men: Lemmy from Motorhead, David Bowie, Alan Rickman and Glen Frey.
Losing someone we have admired and whose life stories we have followed affects us for a few hours or days and we are reminded of those places where we enjoyed their music or saw them act. We have a sense of knowing them and the loss takes time to adjust to.
But we do adjust. We do learn to prioritise and focus on those things that need attending to, people we have to see and places we have to be. By learning to reintegrate in the busy-ness of society helps to settle the aching, questioning heart and mind, allowing us to find moments of joy through the grief.
No matter how old or ill a person has been or how they meet their end, someone somewhere will feel their loss.
There is a rhythm and ritualisation connected with the loss of someone we love. A process to go through, a method to lay body, mind and soul to rest. We re-connect with family and friends who help ease our burden and carry the memories we have shared. We talk and laugh and cry, in public and alone.
How we plan the day of farewells – the funeral – is a sign of respect and love and thankfulness that we have been privileged to share the life of someone special.
My beloved Fred passed away today. My handsome, stubborn, red-wine drinking gentleman of a father-in-law finally gave up his fight for life and left us. I for one will miss him dreadfully, not least because we were the only two red wine drinkers in the family and would often share a bottle or three. But much more than that I will miss his laughter and stories, his hugs and his love.
Loss – a poem
Go now, leave this solid world behind; let the dust and air carry you on; and allow the seasonal transitions to guide us through our salty tears. We have loved you in flesh and will love you still. Thank you for letting me in for taking my daughters as your grand-daughters for your generosity of spirit, your spark and laughter. It was easy to tell you I love you, a privilege I won’t deny. Go now. Leave this solid world behind.