The Nearness of You: Re-emerging memories of those lost

030815_NearnessOfYouUntil quite recently, I had thought it was just me but then, while talking among friends, we all began to realize that this was quite a usual occurrence…. We were discussing the fact we were experiencing re-emerging memories, as we had begun to age, returning to those of our families and friends that had for long been dead and seemingly, gone from us – probably due to the rushed pace of the prime of life.

These “lost ones” begin to achieve a new clarity, almost it could be said, a new life…

Of course, the world of the Spirit (if, indeed, it exists – but that’s another discussion) has no business impinging upon this, our mortal coil; their journey has been accomplished. As the poet says;

Fear no more the heat of the sun
Nor the furious winter’s rages
Thou thy work on Earth is done
Home art gone and ta’en thy wages.

My own experience of this re-emergence has been fairly recent – really only since my Michael, my husband of fifty years, died not quite two years ago.

Now, I live alone. My children are grown and gone. My grandchildren live down in the States and are busily engaged with High School and University. My plethora of pets (sequentially of course, not all at once) five dogs, three cats, four birds, two tortoise, one rabbit and a goldfish have gone the way of all mortal flesh……

Though alone, I have many good friends and acquaintances and am engaged in several absorbing activities – writing, singing in the choir at St. James Cathedral, walking (even in our current winter conditions) and knitting – we have a knitting group that meets weekly in our Co-op kitchen. Oh yes, and the Co-op Book Club that meets once a month – also in the kitchen!

A growing “family” of potted plants keeps me busily watering and trimming. I am not ashamed to confess that I chat with them on a regular basis – ALL growing things need some encouragement from time to time and they answer me back by continuing to thrive.

More recently though, I find myself in a state of growing awareness of my original family – father, mother and “baby” sister – all long since deceased. My mother in particular is a regular and inquisitive presence. A doughty Scotswoman (I’m no’ a glass o’ whisky – I’m no SCOTCH! I’m a SCOT!”) and registered nurse (a very good one at that!) she continues to have a finger in the pie of my life.

I often find myself explaining to her (no, not aloud – inside my head only) the complicated technological developments of modern life and I can just see her shaking her head in doubtful wonderment as she exclaims “Am I seeing what I THINK I’m seeing – am I hearing what I THINK I’m hearing!”

Of course, there is mourning associated with our losses and the pangs of grief can catch us from time to time when we least expect them. Above and beyond all that though, one finds oneself experiencing a growing understanding of exactly WHO and what these people really were. All of the prejudices formed in early youth are gone. In our age, we have caught up with them and our love for them is more than it was in their lifetime.

Mary Druce