|©Lucy Cavendish & Jasmine Becket-Griffith|
To give a bit of background, one of our cats had to be put to sleep on Tuesday, and so I have been working through my grief, and the reminder of other loved ones who have died. I drew this card yesterday, and meditated with it. A couple of insights came out of that, which I thought I'd share here.
Firstly, when I entered the card I was invited to lie down alongside the main character. Doing so, I realised that we all three were looking up into a starry sky. It made me think about the fact that some things are near enough eternal and universal (from a human, earth-based perspective). Wherever on the planet you are, if you look up at night you can see stars (well, clouds permitting), and that would have been true ten thousand years ago, too. There is a commonality of experience there, a way of connecting with others from whatever location in time and space. Likewise, when mourning, it is helpful to remember all the shared moments and joys, the things we liked to do together, the ways we were the same. In that way, we find the other still in our self.
Secondly, it seemed to me that she had dug the grave up, so as to be with her love once again. It reminded me that having some kind of tangible way to connect is helpful. Memories alone are not always enough: having a special place dedicated to the person's memory, or having some object as a reminder isn't maudlin, but rather can be a way to remember them that is supportive and grounded. For example, we will be getting our cat's ashes in the next few weeks, and plan to have a little ceremony and spread them in the garden, under his favourite bush. Then, when we see the bush, we can always remember him.
This is nothing new, I know, but it was a good reminder for me. My father died a couple of years ago, and for logistical reasons (and maybe something more) we haven't yet managed to scatter his ashes. I think this was a reminder to me that I should call my brothers and light a fire under their arses! And that I can perhaps create something for myself as a reminder and a keepsake...