Eight years ago, this weekend was sunny and unreasonably warm. On the Sunday, we rolled my mum’s bed outside into the sun and had an ice cream together. It was a moment I’ll never forget. Friday morning she died. And eight days after that, I married the love of my life. I didn’t get to share that with her, not the birth of my son, nor the birth of my daughter. It sucks. And it’s painful. And quite frankly, I still have moments of anger over losing her.
However, my children ‘know’ their Grandma a little through the stories I tell them. Grandma gave the best hugs, loved to bake, garden, and had the best laugh. Grandma was a strong and very brave woman, even though she was scared at times. The stories we tell shape our memories.
Over the next days, weeks, and months many of us will experience loss. Loss of being able to see friends, loss of routines, of graduation, of work, of weddings. And yes, loss of family members, community members, and dear friends. It is and will be painful. And likely anger as for some of us, we won’t be able to ‘say goodbye’ or ask for forgiveness. For other, we will feel robbed of precious moments – of being able to paint that last picture together, to hold a loved one’s hand.
There are no words that take away the pain of loss. No words that lessen it. However, there is a strange comfort in being reminded there are others around you, a community of people walking with you. And in these times, hugs may not be possible, but smiles and knowing nods still do wonders. Letters, cards, phone calls still remind us, we are not forgotten.
In this difficult time, let us not forget the grieving among us. Let us not forget those suffering loss of any sort. And let us connect with each other.
We can do this. Together.