We are approaching Easter; the time of year that brings the message of rebirth and regeneration which is one of divine, inborn hope. But before the rejoicing on Easter day, comes the despairing anguish of loss.
Thinking of this, I found myself reflecting on a quote from a poem by Pablo Neruda, “my feet will want to walk to where you are sleeping but I shall go on living”. It put me in mind of the early phase of grieving, when you are so traumatised, so utterly shocked by loss, both physically and mentally, that you are torn between a desire to be with your lost loved one, or to carry on with life. It is fair to say that for a while, you will be an observer of life. You cannot fully participate in anything when the enormity of your personal tragedy subsumes everything that you try to do. Thank God that this phase passes! – the tragedy, the enormity of your loss does not diminish, but your reaction to it does. You cannot resurrect the person who has left you but you can lovingly remember them and they live on in your heart.
Although James is no longer physically here, I feel that even now, as we approach thirteen years since his passing, that he is in my heart, my soul, my very breath. He walks with me, beside me and in my shadow. I know that I will ultimately be reunited with him. This belief comforts me.
When I wrote Into the Mourning Light four years ago, in hindsight I believe that I was only just beginning to live in the mourning light. I now I have a better understanding of that particular place. It has a parallel with Easter because it is a resurrection of sorts. The dawning of mourning light is only possible after the darkest of darkness …it is the obverse side to despair and its light grows bright and true.
The mourning light reflects a commitment to having the strength to embrace life again.
The mourning light represents my renewal of myself. I am a new and different human being, necessarily changed by the loss of James. Other losses also changed me, but none have been so profound.
I knew my son; after all we shared a body for nine months before he was born! – and I know that even now, part of him resides within me.
It is the part that is love borne from grief; the deep well of emotion engendered by mourning that is not diminished by time.
It is the part that brings me renewed joy in life.
It is the part that guides my hands to typing, writing, gardening, cooking.
It is the part that encourages me to be the best possible version of myself that I can be.
It is the part that fires my creative inspiration.
It is the part that fuels my evolving spirituality and religious beliefs.
It is the part that drives me to keep on learning, keep on exploring.
And perhaps most importantly it is the part that ensures that I engage fully with family and friends, sharing mutual love and support.
I know that I benefit from all the loving support that comes to me. My inner senses such as intuition, compassion and empathy, are heightened since James died and I am sure this is due to my exploration of the many ways I can learn more about, and live with, grief.
I am very grateful to each of the many contributors who generously continue to shape my new life in the mourning light.
As Winter slowly gives way to spring, bringing a renewal of hope in the greening of the trees, whatever your belief, you can share in the joy of Easter, if only through a surfeit of chocolate! The underlying message is one of rebirth. It is perhaps a good time to reflect on the messages in your own life that enrich, sustain and drive you forward.