|photo Roger Hyland|
“In my view, time does not heal. It's more that unhappy memories retreat and are submerged as life carries on. They lose their intensity, like clothes that fade after much washing, but they never disappear, and can be triggered, re-surfacing again with surprising force - especially as we get older and perhaps spend more time reflecting on our lives. Even if we can develop a wiser perspective, that ball of sadness is still there.”
These wise words are from one of my dearest friends, Patrysha, who I have known since I was 18 years old.
I heard an interview with Peter Andre after his brother died of kidney cancer at the end of 2012, in which he observed, “You don’t get over it, you just get on with it.”
In a recent conversation with a friend who also lost both her parents to cancer, she spoke of “carrying” the impact of this indefinitely. It’s a good way to put it.
A while back, I wrote a post called Writing What Haunts You.
What haunts me is the way both my parents suffered before they died. Doing all I could to help, support, care for them and fight for them. Ultimately feeling totally helpless. This haunts me constantly.
But I have not found a way to write about it.
I am currently reading a book called How We Grieve by Thomas Attig, after coming across the following quote:
"Grieving is a journey that teaches us how to love in a new way now that our loved one is no longer with us. Consciously remembering those who have died is the key that opens the hearts, that allows us to love them in new ways." Thomas Attig, The Heart of Grief http://www.griefspeaks.com/id112.html
Loss, grief and the heart are key themes in my most recent trilogy for teenagers, which began with Always in my Heart (Stabenfeldt), continued with The Heartbreak Horse and concludes with The Forever Horse, which I was working on this morning. So although I feel I have not yet unlocked my grief, perhaps I have been indirectly exploring it without even realising it.
Eventually, perhaps, I will find the key. I am certain that it is through writing that I will do this.
“She was no longer wrestling with the grief, but could sit down with it as a lasting companion and make it a sharer in her thoughts.” George Eliot