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Sunday, 14 October 2018

Treasures

I've been lucky, in a way, to not have had much of a run in with death and losing loved ones. Yes I'd lost grandparents, teachers, and uncles and aunts, but no one whom I was particularly close with. (My English teacher was probably the closest, but I was out of school already when she passed away.)

But that changed this year. And fairly drastically. In January, the absolute best grandmother in the whole world passed away. Even though I wasn't as close to her as I had wanted to be, we'd had a connection that is difficult to explain. She was always there for me. If ever I needed advice or to talk, she'd be there. Even though I didn't make much use of it, just knowing that I could if I wanted to made a massive difference. And that's not even mentioning that she was the kindest most loving most forgiving and most accepting person I've ever known.

Her death changed my life quite a bit. For one, I got more into my gardening :) and I fully believe that it's her spirit that's making my garden bloom so incredibly. (Almost) more importantly, it had a drastic effect on my outlook on life. On where I was at, and how I was dealing with things. The previous year had been particularly rough for me and my reaction wasn't entirely healthy or sustainable. The change was difficult, but essential, and amazing. Her death was the push that turned me from a bud to a rose. So, thank you, Oumies.

That same transformation, as good as it was, was equally challenging. There were tough decisions, hard changes, a lot of psychological work. Apart from my awesome psychologist, I had the unending, non judgemental support of a great friend. Our friendship had been a bit of a roller-coaster ride, mainly because both our lives were a roller-coaster ride at the time. But our rhythms matched and we were perfectly suited to helping each other deal with the mountains and hills of our lives. In many ways we were mirrors to each other.

In the weeks before he died, though, our friendship reached a new level. Its difficult to explain, but it's like we hadn't realised before just how supportive we had been to each other. For two weeks I consciously had this pillar of support. He'd always be there to help or encourage or advise, or just listen. Always. As was I for him. So when he died... He was suddenly just not there. Yes, that's generally what happens when people die, but... like... it was so much more than a physical loss, or an emotional loss even. A little piece of who I had become was shattered. If soul mates were a thing, then this was it. And it was gone.

If my gran helped to transform me from a bud to a rose, Cuen helped to make me bloom into a stellar rose, to start standing tall (even though I'm actually really short), to shine my brilliant colour out to the world, whilst protecting myself from... The aphids of life? 😬



I strongly believe that my gran is in my garden, and similarly that Cuen is in every bird that sings. Always there, in the background. And when you pay attention, they're the absolute beauty of the world. The birthing, growing, blooming beauty, death and re-cycling of life. A constant reminder of death, and a perpetual reminder of beauty, love, kindness, giving and caring.

Sometimes I just stop to smell the flowers (I haven't been able to keep roses alive yet) and listen to the birds. And it makes the world of difference to my day.

It may not have the same meaning to you at all, but I'd still suggest that you give it a try every now and then. It can't do any harm, but perhaps it freshens your day, or cheers you up just a tiny bit.

And hopefully this is my last somber post on death 😬

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