We are born, we live and we die. In between there lies love and pain and joy, but also events that are portals: points of initiation that transform us.
As anyone who reads this blog may have noticed, I’ve been wading in murky emotional waters lately.
Struggling along in the mire I was started to feel as if I was becoming a miserable and mirthless old git, when my Facebook feed posted a ‘memory’ from six years ago.
It was a photograph of me with my mother, taken several weeks before she died.
The weeks after the photo was taken were mad. An emergency flight to Singapore, followed by a five day vigil in Intensive Care where my sister, my stepfather and myself surrounded my mother with love and support in the final stages of her life.
Recalling these memories I realised, as I always eventually realise at this time of the year, that memory is remembered in our body, in our deep emotions, long before our cognitive process recognises it.
A mother dying, no matter how fractious the relationship, rips apart the foundation of our reality. Where we come from no longer seems to exist. Unconditional love is gone. Suddenly all that remains is our own ability to define ourselves.
This is one of life’s great initiations: losing our point of entrance to reality, and choosing to create our own.
The other initiation, is being present at a death. Guiding someone we love into as good and gentle death as possible, is the inverse of a birth and in many ways just as important as part of ourselves is also lost and needs to be restructured.
Remembering that near six years ago, my life shifted dramatically and that I watched aspects of myself crumble away, it doesn’t seem so strange anymore that life is presently rocky.
After my mother died, I fell apart but my creative process and outlets, rebuilt me into who I was supposed to be.
Love never dies, it just changes shape.