Tag Archives: Soul

Pieces of our soul…

I believe there are many people in our lives whom we meet and form bonds with so strong that those people come to live within us. Sometimes our meetings are brief, but powerful. Other times, people become part of us due to the sheer amount of time they spend in our presence. It’s as if these people become part of the canvas that make us who we are; part of our portrait. 

Some of these people leave our lives, for one reason or another, but I still believe they somehow nurture our life force; our heart. We may not think of them, we may not cross paths with them, but they somehow form part of who we are. I believe when these people die, so does a part of us. That part of them that lived inside of us die with them. That force that nurtured us, disappears. It crumbles and dies; turns to ash and earth and in it a seed is planted and a flower blooms. That flower is the memory of what that person brought us; the lessons they taught us and the love they gave us. 

Sometimes these days, as I do something, a scent wafts through the air that reminds me of the scent of death. A note, or two, is similar to the scent that emanated from my gran as she was dying. It’s a horrible scent. 

In the last few days of my gran’s life, I lived with her in a hospice. My bed was next to hers. My mind was attuned to her — I woke when she moaned, when she stirred, when her breathing went funny and, eventually, when her breathing seized. I flew up to hold her hand as she took her last breath. I called the nurse, then I went to open the window to let her spirit fly, breathe in the fresh air and see the snow dance outside in a beautiful farewell ceremony. 

The week and a bit I spent in that hospice changed me. Or maybe it was the following weeks when I was trying to absorb it all that changed me. There was one night when my father and sister left for the day when I thought: “I can’t do this.” I can’t take another night of little sleep, only to wake time and time again to her suffering. The night before I’d argued with the nurse in charge about giving her more “calming” medication to take away her distress. The nurse thought I was the one who was upset as she didn’t hear the moans coming from my gran when she left the room. Finally the day team arrived, heard the moans and gave her the meds. In hospice they generally give you as much meds as you like — their main duty is to relieve the suffering. 

That night, when I thought I couldn’t take anymore, was better. Someone must have told the nurse to give out the meds. Maybe because I had complained, or maybe because she’d realized I wasn’t a loony bin. Yet, that moment when my dad left me, an apologetic and pained look on his face, I thought I might break. I felt like I had barbwire running inside of me – the barbwire being my gran’s suffering. At least I knew I was there for my grandmother. The knowledge that there must be others, as weak as my grandmother — too weak to press any button to get help when needed — alone in their beds at night made me feel sick. No one would give them water, or wipe them down when they coughed things up all over themselves. It was a horrible thought. 

One morning, I believe it was after the horrible night, gran suddenly started saying: “Hold my hand, hold my hand.” And I could do that. 

I was a shy kid. I was bullied. I became scared of what others thought of me. I responded to it all by closing off; withdrawing. Too frightened of rejection to expose my heart. And I’ve spent many infuriating years trying to undo the wounds of my childhood; years of trying to open up. 

Spending that week in hospice I had one thing clear as daylight in my mind when I walked out: I would love as much as possible and for all the world to see. 

My gran was no saint. Truth be told, for all her kindness and propriety she could also be a right bitch to people, family included. Not out of any desire to do harm, but simply because she lacked all sense of tact and often got things completely wrong and reacted to imaginary hurt. But she loved me and I her. The part of her that used to sustain me — her heartbeat in mine — has wilted and died, only to be replaced by a blossom of love and memories. 

Relationships are never perfect. At some point or another we hurt one another, or get annoyed because we’re pulling in different directions. What my grandparents taught me is that if you love enough, you don’t feel the hurt when there are misunderstandings. Because you know the misunderstandings, the arguments, the whatever won’t break you. There is no real harm intended — only pain caused by confusion. And you will work it out, because you are family and family is there for each other. If you don’t have love as the main essence, if you don’t try to understand, if you don’t know that you want to be together, but actively go out to hurt one another, then it’s another story entirely.  

There was a leaflet in the hospice that said that when someone dies they sail off on a ship into the horizon; disappearing out of sight. We no longer know what journey they are on. And so it can be said for many of the people we meet — they cross our path and then sail off to new shores. They live in our hearts in one way or another. As a child this petrified me as mom died and I felt like I was left with a gaping hole inside of me — a pain that could never be cured — but I realize now that while I will never see my mother again the way she was (though I may see her in another form), I have a flower inside my heart. That’s something her mother finally came to teach me by dying holding my hand. And I still cry, but I don’t feel pain. Not that kind of pain. I feel like I have something incredibly beautiful in my heart, which no one can ever take away. 

I was miserable as a child — my grandparents, summers on the boat and the books I read that made me believe in a future different from my present, are what kept me alive. I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be here today without those. And now, when all of my grandparents have left, I received another gift. The gift of loving more. 

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Image Source: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/507780926719627960/ 

For all those times you stood by me

For all the truth that you made me see

For all the joy you brought to my life

For all the wrong that you made right

For every dream you made come true

For all the love I found in you

I’ll be forever thankful guys

You’re the one who held me up

Never let me fall

You’re the one who saw me through through it all

You were my strength when I was weak

You were my voice when I couldn’t speak

You were my eyes when I couldn’t see

You saw the best there was in me

Lifted me up when I couldn’t reach

You gave me faith ’cause you believed

I’m everything I am

Because you loved me

You gave me wings and made me fly

You touched my hand I could touch the sky

I lost my faith, you gave it back to me

You said no star was out of reach

You stood by me and I stood tall

I had your love I had it all

I’m grateful for each day you gave me

Maybe I don’t know that much

But I know this much is true

I was blessed because I was loved by you

You were my strength when I was weak

You were my voice when I couldn’t speak

You were my eyes when I couldn’t see

You saw the best there was in me

Lifted me up when I couldn’t reach

You gave me faith ’cause you believed

I’m everything I am

Because you loved me

You were always there for me

The tender wind that carried me

A light in the dark shining your love into my life

You’ve been my inspiration

Through the lies you were the truth

My world is a better place because of you

You were my strength when I was weak

You were my voice when I couldn’t speak

You were my eyes when I couldn’t see

You saw the best there was in me

Lifted me up when I couldn’t reach

You gave me faith ’cause you believed

I’m everything I am

Because you loved me

You were my strength when I was weak

You were my voice when I couldn’t speak

You were my eyes when I couldn’t see

You saw the best there was in me

Lifted me up when I couldn’t reach

You gave me faith ’cause you believed

I’m everything I am

Because you loved me

I’m everything I am

Because you loved me

– Celine Dion

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Filed under Friendship, friendships, Love, mourning, Soul, soul brothers, soul mates, soul sisters, Uncategorized