To a Monday in Spring!

We went to a memorial service last last week for a friend’s elderly Mother who had passed away. Our friend is very dear to us all and especially to the girls, so we took them along to pay their respects. They haven’t been to many memorials or funerals before, we are very lucky to have both parents on both sides alive and well with some extra Grandparents thrown in for good measure from remarriages. You could say we have an outrageous display on Grandparents for the girls to be spoilt and loved by.

There were lots of questions and big eyes (from Harper mostly) as she took it all in. They listened to the beautiful music and words of memories and stories from a long life filled with wonderful tales. Got me thinking about what’s to come for us down the track…illness and death and sadness and loss that befalls us and just how precious life is. Earlier in the week I watched Anh Do’s wonderful show on the ABC where he paints celebrities portraits and he painted Dr Charlie Teo as he sat and shared amazing stories of lives he has saved and plenty that he has lost. His one message that struck me at the end was just how precious life is. Precious. How it can be here one moment, changed irrevocably the next or even gone. How we must not waste time being angry, or wasting our dreams or goals that we must remember that preciousness.

A moment of reflection in a service was a timely reminder for me last week.

I wonder what I’ll do this coming week, small or otherwise that will remind me to stop and take in the preciousness of life. Maybe I’ll sit in the sunshine and close my eyes and marvel at how good it feels to have warm sun on your face. Or I’ll go for a walk and feel my legs move my body and be grateful to my body for being healthy and strong and able. Maybe I’ll tell someone I love just how much they mean to me.

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Are you missing someone you love who you have lost? A month or so ago I was at another funeral of someone much younger who left behind a family desperately missing her now. I was talking to another friend last week who had to farewell a friend lost even younger to cancer leaving behind young kids who need their Mum. At this funeral they had a reading of a poem I’d never heard before, that keeps popping into my head that I wanted to share with you guys.

Parable of Immortality by Henry Van Dyke

I am standing upon the seashore.
A ship at my side spreads her white sails to the morning breeze
and starts for the blue ocean.
She is an object of beauty and strength,
and I stand and watch until at last she hangs
like a speck of white cloud
just where the sea and sky come down to mingle with each other.
Then someone at my side says,
” There she goes! ”
Gone where?
Gone from my sight . . . that is all.
She is just as large in mast and hull and spar
as she was when she left my side
and just as able to bear her load of living freight
to the place of destination.
Her diminished size is in me, not in her.
And just at the moment
when someone at my side says,
” There she goes! ”
there are other eyes watching her coming . . .
and other voices ready to take up the glad shout . . .
” Here she comes! ”

I’m not sure what this rambling post means or wants to say, or even if it’s just a little depressing on a gorgeous Sunday afternoon, but I suppose I wanted to remind you guys of that preciousness that we can forget when we spend so much time being busy. Just living our normal lives. Our precious, mundane weeks that those that are gone would give anything for, and that for those that are left behind would do anything to have again with those gone.

So instead of thinking Monday. I’m going to think MONDAY. A Monday in Spring, what a glorious thing!

And I’m going to think about things that I am wasting that precious time worrying about, or being cranky about. What does it really matter? That annoying person…that silly thing I’m holding onto. Time to let the stuff that doesn’t matter…go…

I hope you guys have a good week, and that you can hold onto that preciousness, even just for a moment. And I hope that any of you hurting in your loss, or going through tough times, that you can remember a precious moment with your loved one, and be glad that you had it x

Comments

  1. I always thought that I lived in the moment, I didn’t waste a minute and knew what was important to me and then 2 years ago my daughter was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour.
    Everyday really is a blessing and the mundane should be appreciated.
    We (my husband, myself, 5 children and my eldest sons girlfriend) are off to Europe for 6 weeks in November, a trip which some (including me some days) might say we don’t have the money or the time to take.
    There is nothing more precious than family and time spent together.

    • Oh Catherine, I’m so sorry to hear about your daughter. Travel away I say…I’d pack up and do it constantly if I could. I hope you create some wonderful memories and lots of special family time x

  2. Thanks Beth. It’s hard when you get caught up in the mundane of life to remember to take stock of the good things.

    I have a beautiful friend who has been fighting ovarian cancer for 3 years and who 3 weeks ago suffered a massive stroke, is unable to talk and is paralysed down one side. She has three kids under 9. She’s not in a state where she can see visitors other than immediate family so I feel like I’m already grieving for her and the inevitability of the situation, which isn’t fair to either of us.

    Anyway… Life is really shit sometimes and sometimes it’s awesome. Swings and roundabouts.

  3. We have just spent the last 6 weeks packing up my Fiancé’s Great Aunts house. She is more like a grandmother though. 86 years of collecting, inheriting and just living, was a VERY time consuming, confronting and depressing task. She is heartbroken that she had to sell her beautiful home and I have to admit I’m heartbroken for her.
    It has made me very aware of how much ‘stuff’ we have. Spring school holidays will be spent decluttering that’s for sure.
    It does make you stop, think and appreciate what you have and good health.

  4. I read and loved this recently, and it sprang to mind reading your post too…

    “Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are. Let me learn from you, love you, bless you before you depart. Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow. Let me hold you while I may, for it may not always be so. One day I shall dig my nails into the earth, or bury my face in the pillow, or stretch myself taut, or raise my hands to the sky and want, more than all the world, your return.” – Mary Jean Irion

  5. Tears. This is beautiful, Beth. Especially little Harps with big eyes, taking it all in. Xx

  6. Oh God… Very deep Beth!

  7. Rowena/VintageNobility says

    A lovely SoulSunday post to read and ponder!
    I understand where you’re coming from Beth, I have it in the fringes of my thoughts each day – that a loss could happen to any one of us in our family at any time: but while it sits there on the outer edges of my thoughts, I try not to let myself dwell on it as a fixed worry. Although I always know when I am doing too much and not getting enough rest; because it’s those thoughts which creep into the centre of my head and I fall apart overwhelmed with the what-ifs!
    I believe that perhaps there is a dimension that exists around us, that mingles with us; in which our loved ones who pass are present in…but we just can’t see it and haven’t yet scientifically figured it out! So the idea of death doesn’t worry me.
    Instead its the ‘changes’ that death/loss of a loved one delivers to our lives – that I think is my biggest fear!
    So it is essential to remind ourselves of our blessings and express gratitude through our thoughts, words and deeds – which in essence is really a prayer in action!
    Show your loved ones and everyone you meet, the love and kindness you desire; those you pass by each day (I do this especially for frail, elderly, babies, children and emergency personnel)- send them on with silent prayers of courage and strength, endurance and Joy.
    None of us know our true calling and who we affect in our daily interactions through life: but to me, it sure makes sense to reflect and mirror the Love and beauty that is all around me Every Single Day!
    xxx Row

  8. Bless you Beth

  9. Thank you for the reminder.

  10. Sue McCarney says

    Beautiful daughter. ❤️

  11. a lovely sensitive post beth!
    we can all be reminded to live in the now!
    life is indeed precious!
    much love m:)X

  12. A friend of mine had that poem at her husband’s funeral – I thought it was so beautiful and comforting. Your words are also beautiful as always, Beth ❤️

  13. Dear Beth, thank you for sharing your thoughts and your love. D xx

  14. My aunt recently died. She had been quite unwell for a long time, in and out of hospital. Her illness was debilitating. She knew and we knew the end was coming. She talked quite frankly about what was coming. We were able to be with her at her death which was such a privilege. It was calm and peaceful. The air definitely changes when someone is dying and it was surreal, beautiful and grounding all at the same time. She herself said the day before that she knew it was her time and she had even felt someone tapping her on the shoulder even though there was no one in the room! She said she wasn’t worried about the after, only the process. I feel so lucky that we could say our goodbyes as there are so many people who do not have that luxury. It was the first funeral for my kids and as you say, there were big eyes and tears. But there was also a lot of warmth, love and light. And now the kids refer to her often…as their special guardian angel and that she is always with them. Sometimes I think kids handle this stuff better than us grown ups.!! Even though she is not here, I feel her on my shoulder often and I am grateful for her love.

  15. Beautiful beautiful sensitive Beth. xx

  16. Thank you. I lost my father from Pancreatic Cancer and another cancer that was not diagnosed in April. It was a very sudden decline, he was still working full time. I have been feeling those cranky feelings a lot lately. Time to remind myself again of the blessings.

  17. I often think about this. I still have all four of my grandparents – they are all in their 80s and surprisingly good health. I think that having all four of your grandparents when you hit 30 is pretty special. They have seen me get married and have children. I think that it is beautiful that the boys have four great grandparents in their lives. I don’t think they will be as lucky with their grandparents, as my father inlaw is already 76. I think that I have lived a very blessed life without loss and I am so very grateful!

  18. I lost my 93 year old mother last year… we were very close, and, while I don’t grieve as deeply as I did, I miss her and think of here every day. I wear her watch and her silver bracelet everyday, and when I look at them on my arm I remember them on Mum’s increasingly thin and frail little arm. She wore them constantly, until at the end, the nurses took them off her arm, because they were tearing her skin. She knew exactly where they were though! That poem made the tears fall. I’ll print it off and read it to remember Mum and Dad(who died many years ago)

  19. I am grieving the loss of my precious identical twin girls, stillborn and left too soon. You are right Beth, life is precious…it’s through these moments that we truly realise what’s real and what matters in life.

    • Oh Mel, my heart breaks for you at this awful time. I hope you are OK (or as best can be). I hope you are letting yourself grieve and I hope you have lots of love and support around you. I’m so sorry for the loss of your beautiful daughters x

  20. Beth, that poem was the very one that I found online for a relative to read at my Mum’s funeral service 15 years ago. My Mum, being the organised soul that she was, arranged the music that she wanted played, the coffin, and even the piece of writing from a book that she loved, that she wanted read out, which I ended up reading. I remember not sleeping at all the night before, because I wanted to do this piece of writing justice, to honour my Mum, to serve her one last time.

    Losing a loved one changes us forever, we will never be the same again. But I am grateful for the time I had with my Mum because in becoming her carer towards the end of her life, I got to see her in another light, not just my Mum but a woman who had an amazing sense of humour, who was brave and still thought of those around her above her own needs. And yes it did make me appreciate that every day is precious, every day is a gift and to love fiercely and unconditionally.

  21. I have just got back to reading this post – a few weeks late. How timely. I have had an average day remembering my Dad who passed away 15 years ago today. The poem is beautiful and what I needed. I don’t think it is depressing – it completely lifted me up and even after all this time the thought that some one else shouts ‘here she comes’ is comforting. Thanks for sharing!

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