Funny thing! I am back working at the hospital in the Spiritual Care Department, but as a Volunteer. Good news – I am to be a grandmother in a few weeks. So, in general, I am in a place of Hope. And I am grateful.
I am now on medical leave or maybe permanent retirement, I haven’t decided. And these past months of isolation and feelings of abandonment, coupled with so much social chaos, have made it very difficult to connect to Hope. But I am going to start again.
I am currently working as a Hospital Chaplain and so my day to day work involves helping people find peace, hope, comfort and acceptance. I have found that my own grief journey helps me to empathize with those facing illness and death and even to offer hope, hope that this is not the end. Because in one way or another we continue as part of the universe, as our very atoms mingle with the stuff of life. And we continue in the minds and hearts and experience of those we have loved, taught, raised, impacted. In these ways, even if there’s nothing else, we have a form of eternal life.
And in my heart my son smiles.
Original note, 2010
By the time we reach middle-age we have all been touched by tragedy and loss: whether loss of a relationship, a parent, one’s health…so many different losses. They are each uniquely appalling, yet the aftermath can be similar, in quality if not in degree: denial, anger, depression, sadness, loss of faith.
I felt a need to reflect on my own personal tragedies in the hope that I would begin to regain some of my Hope. There are no promises of “happy ever after” here. But if you are struggling with loss of some kind and don’t find the Seven Steps to a Perfect Solution type of book very useful, then this blog may be to your liking. I don’t promise answers, but every now and then I find interesting things to say, even useful things. Some of them come from other, more enlightened people, to whom I will give full credit; some of them are my own. You are invited to explore this blog and journey with me. It will develop with bits and pieces of the book I am writing, or my reflections on those bits and pieces.
My book was published in 2015, Traces of Hope: Surviving grief and Loss.
As always, I invite thoughtful feedback.
I admire your ability to put yourself out there! I suspect you have helped a lot of people by doing just that!
Thank you, I hope so.
There is something of the universal empathetic in what you have to say that deeply touched me. “One day I found myself not wanting to go to sleep least i dream and not wanting to wake up to another unhappy day. And in that limbo state of darkness I desparately prayed for ‘peace’. Not the peace that follows war, but the peace where mind is not fighting mind, thought fighting thought or the present fighting the past. And I would have given anything for an empty day without replays, rewinds, ifs and shoulds! Then I would bury myself in a painting knowing that creating something beautiful told me that even the darkest dark cannot eclipse the good that my soul is capable of and open to.
Creating something beautiful always works for me, a painting or even coloring. Or planting a garden.