I’ve got a sticky conundrum at the moment and it’s absorbing a lot of mental energy, trying to decide what to do. I am lucky to have very fine friends. But they have a great deal going on in their lives as well. And what went through my mind this morning was: ‘Whose advice do I need on this one? From the living or the dead?’
My go-to person, the one I always picked up the phone to speak to with a dilemma was my sister. It is incredibly challenging, even a few years after she’s gone, to instinctively want to speak to her, before realising, yet again, she’s dead. I really understand how hard it can be, when you’re going through something significant, without the person who used to be there to help and support you. It sucks.
But DOES their death mean you can’t still ‘speak’ to them? I don’t have any kind of faith – but I do believe that people we love live on within us, whilst we remember them. I had decades of wise counsel from my sister. There is part of her in my brain. If I concentrate, I can ‘summon’ my mental version of her in moments of doubt and sadness (this version appears voluntarily when I’m doing something she’d disapprove of!). I’ve got a pretty good idea of what she’d say. My gran too. Very different women, by the way. Although both loved me very much. They would be furious at the idea that I was having to take crap, from anyone. My dad, now he’d be a little more circumspect I think. Pragmatic. Aware of the nuances. He was more Eeyore in temperament.
So, what I’m going to do is wait until light (my goodness January is a challenging month for early risers waiting for sunrise – thanks to Barry Yates for this lovely sunrise photo by the way, taken at the beautiful Rye Harbour Nature Reserve), go for a walk before work and ‘chat’ to them all. Remembering it’s my life and my decision. But even when I feel alone, I’m not. I have been loved. I am still loved. And part of me is them.
I wish you all well, and send my love to anyone grappling with difficult things, who might be feeling bereft.