My dear Friends
“I think that I shall never see / A thing as lovely as a tree.” – the opening lines of a rather sentimental song of long ago. Watching trees through the seasons is fascinating and instructive.
In autumn, leaves change colour, look spectacular. Then the cold, cruel winds blow and all the loveliness is gone. Fallen leaves clutter lawns and clog drains, revealing skeletal boughs and suddenly fragile-looking trunks. Throughout the following winter the trees seem even more gaunt, the winds are much fiercer, some branches fall off, a few trees lose whatever sap was left and wither away altogether.
Just when the bleakness looks to be conquering everything tiny nodules appear, in time becoming green shoots, strong leaves, beautiful blossoms. There’s fruit too, juicy, delicious, nourishing. The cycle of life has reasserted itself. Is it coincidental the phrase ‘hope springs’? Then it’s summer once more. Blue skies, strong sunshine, delightful showers all ensure bountiful crops, beautiful gardens, long, lazy days outdoors, the leisure to read or dream in the shade of lush leafy trees.
The seasons of our years, the seasons of grief. As the earth turns bringing changes but repeating its eternal patterns, so grief presents us with shades and nuances. We may shake with despair as loss takes hold. We may shiver in the cold reaches of mourning, unwarmed by any consolation, deprived of the colour of joy. We see the results of climate change – extremes of weather conditions that devastate and challenge but which also reveal resourcefulness and community spirit. So too may we find our reserves of life-enhancing mettle and fortitude, the cautious beginnings of survival. We will eventually bask in the warmth of strong new personal development that enables us to bloom with a special loveliness born from experience.
Our trees are rooted in our love for our lost ones and no amount of chilly anger or guilt or hopelessness ever kills that off. Our trees’ trunks become sturdier as we learn to overcome our fears and our distress. As we manage change more efficiently there are our fresh bright leaves and pretty colourful blossoms; the possibility of fine fruit as we mature and mellow and find meaning anew in the cycle of our lives.
THERE WILL BE NO MONTHLY MEETING IN MAY DUE TO OUR GOLF DAY ON FRIDAY, 17 MAY 2013
IMPORTANT OFFICE INFORMATION
ON SATURDAY 27 JULY 2013 THE “CHRISTMAS IN JULY” WILL TAKE PLACE AT THE “INDABA HOTEL”, FOURWAYS. IT IS A BLACK TIE DINNER DANCE AND THE COMPASSIONATE FRIENDS IS ONE OF THE BENEFICIARIES. WE NEED TO HOST A TABLE AT THE EVENT AND TICKETS SELL FOR R210.00 PER PERSON. PLEASE SUPPORT US BY BUYING TICKETS FOR THIS OCCASION. FOR MORE INFORMATION GO TO THE WEB PAGE WWW.CIJ.ORG.ZA
Every month we remember our children on special pages in the Newsletter, on their birthdays and anniversaries.
Please accept my apologies regarding the Newsletter being so late! Our typesetter had an accident, was hospitalized and only returned home on Thursday 31/01/2013. I found somebody to step in at the last minute and the Newsletter will go out as soon as possible.
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Loving All Parts Of Ourselves
It is important to accept and experience all of our feelings, including the so-called negative parts
Love Has Found A Home
The “how, what, when and where” is found in the particulars of the circumstances that have sized your child. Whether their life ends by illness or accident, suicide, murder or miscarriage, or any other manner the circumstances are not identical but they are the same separation. They are the unique fingerprints of finality. All of us have fingerprints none of us have the same ones. Bereaved parents own the saddest of realities for now and forever. Separation and finality team up to devour your life and make you cry in the oddest of places, at the strangest of times. You know why even if the world is mystified.
At first it is impossible to have thoughts of death and our child together in any conceivable fashion. It makes no sense to the new Moms and Dads who have been drafted into the army of the bereaved parent. It makes no sense to veterans. Perhaps angry or questioning logic fades as love takes hold and lights our world. Would it be better to not hurt at all but not have had a child? There are some parents in this world that do not suffer since their son or daughter died because they only know of the word love and not its meaning, form without substance. You hurt so much because you love so much. You are crazy with grief because you are crazy with love. The determined desire to go beyond simple survival, to travel beyond deaths’ details, holds great power over death and depression. The bad news is, it isn’t easy. The good news is, it can, and has been done.
It is the “why” that remains elusive. The “why” that escapes practical evaluation resulting in concrete conclusions. The “why” that is sought for answers. The “why” that is often concealed in confusion that pretends to hide a nonexistent solution. What answer? How can there be an answer to why Him? Her? Me? Us? Normal thinking does not work. They way we use to do things does not work. Logic has been stripped from our evaluation process. We are lost since there are no answers to “why” this happened. “It” happens to others. Why have we lost our immunity? Is it our fault? Could we have taken some other course of action? Inaction? Should we have made different plans? Thoughts float in and out of our mind taunting our Souls with unanswerable questions.At some fork in the grief trail we travel we can let go of the “why” issue. There is no drum roll to announce the arrival of Hope. Nor are there triumphant trumpets signalling the departure of the tortuous unanswerable “why”. The saddest and most frustrating of questions is allowed to disintegrate and be replaced by a fuzzy, vague presence of Hope. Our awareness ability has detected its presence. One morning you wake and a whole minute goes by before you remember. Hope is not the shallow, cheery optimism that the bereaved wear for worldly consumption. It is the deepest and most glorious of productive inspirations that the Hope of eternity and reunion can bring. It is the Hope that all is not lost. It isn’t easy to see through curtains of tears so often pulled tightly shut by overwhelming sadness. Hope can open those eyes to observe the scene where love exposes finality as an illusion. Hope and love can make eternal death disappear. There will still be hurt, it will still be intense, it will not fill every waking moment as time changes from enemy to ally. Our love for the child that is not here the way we want will always be with us and eventually replace all else. Our children fill our lives through others that are still here. They do it every day. We just have to keep looking for the place that love calls home. [Pat O’Donnell]
Hope In The Face of Death
[Leo F Buscaglia]
Don’t let death cast ugly shadows, but rather warm memories of the loving times you shared.
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