Tag: Grief

Ten Years

Yesterday it was exactly ten years ago that my mother died. She died in a hospital in Imperia, Italy at 15:00. We went to the park where we spread her ashes, and remembered her by enjoying the warm weather, strong winds, each other’s company and all the excited dogs that were being walked in the park. Jody had made delicious sandwiches, I had brought ginger beer and vodka, and Robin had squeezed a bunch of limes, so we could make our own Moscow Mules. Ruurd and Moulsari were there as well. When the weather turned bad, we decided to have dinner at an Italian restaurant in Hoorn, ate food, had wine, drank limoncello until we were all drunk and happy. It was a good day.

(I think it’s really appropriate that yesterday was such a windy day. There was so much energy in the air. Wild is the Wind, after all.)

I realised that I haven’t been sad about her death for a long while now. Sure I’m sad, but not in a way that it momentarily stops my heart when I suddenly realise. Nowadays the first thought of the day after waking up is no longer the crushing realisation of her departure. She pushed me in the right direction and for a while the momentum was gone, but I feel like her death has now galvanised me and I have regained momentum in life. I can only hope that my brother and sister feel the same way.

Another Funeral

Unfortunately, since my own parents’ deaths, I’ve had the misfortune of attending a few funerals usually in support of others. There was a colleague’s father, my uncle whose funeral I had to arrange because there were no other next of kin capable or willing to take up the charge, and then yesterday a good friend’s father was laid to rest. In all three cases I was struck by a feeling, hard to recognise but easy to understand once you do, of selfishness. You see, while the reason that I came to the funeral was to support my friend, to show him that I care, and to silently let him know that I’m there for him should have need of anything, what I am doing there during the service is focussing on myself, mourning my own loss and indulging in my own grief.

I was dealing rather well with it all, but tears started to well up when people started to give a last salute at the end of the service. It reminded me of something Moulsari had done during that same last goodbye that stayed with me. She had knelt at the foot end of of my father coffin, touched it briefly and ran her hand over her head. It’s a sign of respect in India, one that I always liked and one that I think my father deserved more in life than he got so I was glad to see that this woman, who barely knew him and only knew how important he was to me, showed him such respect. Call me silly but that really struck me to the point that remembering it, ever so briefly, yesterday, made me very emotional.