Memories of hope

So today I went to a wake or in other words a celebration of someone’s life. I heard that this person was a ‘gift from God’.

I think of this person who I must say wasn’t a close friend. More an acquaintance to be honest. But my overriding memory was that they were always interested in me, always caring and kind. I knew they cared about who I was and saw me. And sometimes I didn’t want to speak or engage, sometimes I didn’t want them to care, but they always did.

I ask myself-am I like that? This year and it is not even the end of the year yet, five people have departed from the earth, one at their own hand. I am left wondering what on earth is this life about? Loss upon loss, goodbye after goodbye, funeral after funeral after funeral …

And yet-the memories remain, linger in the air like perfume in a room. I am left thinking about the overall scent of these people. II find that when people are gone we remember the best things about them not the worst and learn from them. I will try to always ask how people are getting on and basically notice those around me and as best as I am able to, be there for them.

We don’t have people for ever, that is a given. In a sense they are on loan to us and we never know how long this may be for. We can lose people in so many ways-bereavement, illness, or them moving away geographically or a friendship ending. The suck and pull of the tide of in and out here and not here, visible then invisible. Life is full of loss and gain.

And in terms of hope, memories to me offer hope, because I can learn fom them. I can take some of what that dear man put into my life and sprinkle it over others. I can be knd and ask how people are and not avoid them, because let’s be honest we do sometimes try to avoid people catching our eye. And I will make more of an effort because just maybe someone needs to be noticed today.

So today’s recipe of hope is to learn from those we have lost and loved. It is to think about what they taught us and maybe adopt those things to use ourselves.

Today let us reflect X

Journey into hope day 11

Wow! I am amazed time has gone so rapidly, since I started this hope experiment. So much has happened in such a short time. It seems so long ago I was standing and watching the panoply of light blaring over Sydney Harbour.

Today I would like to discuss loss. Yesterday I met a beautiful young woman named Alannah, who had a shine about her. She shared with me that she had had a tattoo done, in memory of her friend who she had lovingly named Natashly. Natashly was actually named Ash. It is a beautiful and fitting tribute to loving friendship.

We spoke about my loss in not being able to meet Natashly. Alannah described her as exceptionally clever and very self deprecating and if my memory serves me correctly, funny.

Alannah did not use physical descriptions but gave me the essence of her friend in words. I liked Natashly, I think I would have connected with her. I am glad I met her through the spoken memory of her. I have many wonderful memories of people who are no longer here and they can live on in one sense, because although they are physically gone, their impact remains. We can and should speak about those who have gone before.

I was struck by the impression a brief encounter with Alannah made upon me. The way she shone, the incredible love she had for her absent yet present friend. I was also significantly impacted by Connie, from Port Aloha motel, her kindness and thoughtfulness was vast and I am very grateful.

I have lost some personal things during my travels. I find this extremely difficult to face, because it feels I have lost part of myself. This is a pet hate. Yesterday I lost a lovely sweatshirt with Choose Life on the front. It supports suicide awareness. I admit my ability to travel and remember everything is not wonderful, so I am facing this and struggling to accept that I may lose things along my way.

My time in Australia is waning fast. I am going back to the UK to face some big things which do not fill me with joy. I am hopeful I will have inner strength and resilience, which I have been building since I have been here.

So today my recipe for hope comes from a prayer; that I will have the strength to accept the things I cannot change, courage to accept the things I can and wisdom to know the difference.

I wish you all strength and hope X