I don’t know about you but I am kind of fed up with all of this doom and gloom. Reading back and imagining what it must be like for someone else to read this, it occurs to me that I must come across as some boo hoo wane weepy woman who has little else to say.
As I’ve said before, grief has shrunk me, so I want this post to be a kind of ‘I will not just be this mini-me’, my declaration. It is good for me to give myself a poke and remind myself of everything that I am, aside from these feelings, to remind myself of the strength of the ‘I’ in my ‘I grieve’. I guess I want these words to be a sort of spell to call myself back into existence…
I am a woman who laughs a lot at strange things. When I know someone is watching you’ll see the smile flit past and be left guessing what has tickled me. Half way through a recent fit of tears, I burst into giggles when the usual reassuring voice in my head said ‘come on, buck up, its not as if anyone has died’.. I could almost imagine the wry wink.
I laugh a lot at myself. The inappropriate slip of the tongue at the funeral. The moment of melodramatic grief where I thought about pitching myself into the ocean and then thought about the practicalities of trying to drown myself in half a foot of surf and the potential indignity of my last look being mascara panda eyes. Sometimes laughter literally bring me back to my life.
I am brave in the way I have lived my life – not bad going for someone in the early end of their thirties to be able to say that – and I mean to keep on shaking it between my teeth. My dad used to say I had bigger bollocks that a troop of marines and for all his show of despair at his feisty daughter, I knew he was proud of me.
I have more love inside me that I am quite sure what to do with. I am so warm I am regularly accused of being a natural born flirt.. I suspect I got that from my dad!
Like him, I love people. I love the uniqueness, the small bigness of people. I have a knack for seeing what is best in people and that has been a blessing that has given me friends all over the world. I may not always hear from them but I feel I have known them and been known, which I think is still kind of special in a hurly burly world. There is the friend I met at a supermarket checkout in Wales, the one from the bus stop in the middle east, the chip shop guy whose wedding I went to in Turkey… on my list of things I’m grateful for, some of those people are right up at the top.
I see kindness everywhere – and I love the little circles of silly goodness. This week a young woman asked me for a chip out of the paper packet I was carrying so I unwrapped them and gave her one. Ten minutes later I was rescued from a gang of marauding seagulls by a have-a go-pensioner who stuck around me till I’d finished my dinner and licked the salt off my fingers… to me there is a sort of synchronicity in that.
Despite working in some grimy places around the world and seeing some sad sad things, I still have enough idealism in me to want to change me, this, here, now. Tracy Chapman lyrics sometimes move me to tears. I am glad that I am someone who is moved and if that means being soft enough for tears, I’ll take that as a worthwhile price to pay.
I am not that profound. I like cute shoes, red handbags and own more earrings than seems in any way sensible for someone who has just 2 ears.. but who I am in still more important to me that what I have.
I see beauty in a sunrise, a button, the exact shade of hill green that never left my thoughts through years in the desert… even when everything is black and bleak and grim there is so much life to be lived that I just plain have to get up and get on with it again.
I read in someone else’s blog that their parent who died did not occupy as much space in their life as they did in death. At first that jarred, almost as if someone is only loved once they are gone….and then I saw just how true it is. My dad never wanted to be in my every waking moment or to occupy my whole life. He was happy to share bits of it, to talk about it all (or at least the things I would admit to), disapprove of the odd bite… but he knew it was my life to live.
Death somehow seems to make fictions of the dead and I don’t ever want my memories of my dad to be more eulogy than reality. I want to keep him farts and fights and all.
I guess equally death makes fictions of the living, it rewrites us out of our histories. This post is to call me back into my me and to remind me that this life, this one, is mine to live.