Tuesday, 11 August 2015
The passage of time
After my morning with the 'SPACE' drop-in I attended the lunchtime Eucharist and headed down to the market square to buy flowers for John.
Of course I know he will not see them but it is the one day I can still physically buy something for him.
Sentimental tosh some people would say, but as I cleaned up his headstone so the blue granite sparkled and filled up the water container for the flowers, I had a few 'words'.
I sometimes glance at his photo in the sitting room and make some comment in response to a particular piece of TV, knowing that he would have said much the same, but my visit to the cemetery is different. It is a chance to have a different kind of communion.
No-one would have been more amazed than John by my decision to be baptised and confirmed. He used to call me his old Welsh heathen. (that was when he was feeling affectionate). The rest of the time he just accepted my lack of religious belief as a part and parcel of my upbringing.
The past 6 years have passed in a flash and I sometimes feel that the present 'me' is so far removed from the old one that I must have gone to sleep as one person and woken as another.
It is for this reason that I am amazed when other people remember the day's significance .
This morning my friend the parish administrator handed me a small bouquet of blue freesias (my favourite flower and John's favourite colour).
This afternoon, dead-heading my front garden flowers one of my dear friends in the close cane up and gave me a hug and said "I know this is a difficult time for you".
Small gestures of love, but huge on my radar and very welcome.
My church life gives me a lot of things I would never have experienced in the old life and sometimes it feels as though I have never lived any other way.
The much quoted "Time is a great healer" has some truth, but I think what the passage of time really does is to distance you from the deluge of feeling which accompanies bereavement and allows other influences to reach you so that you do not forget, but the sadness runs parallel with your new life until eventually it recedes.
Much of the time these days I don't think about John at all and when I do it is affectionately, much as one does of happy incidents in the past. Just now and then there is a sharp piercing reminder and the sense of loss is keen for a while.
Today was such a day.
Posted by Ray Barnes at 8:13:00 pm