Pain – everyone experiences pain, it is part of life. I have experienced pain on several occasions.
I sat on the hospital bed, beside my Granny years back watching her cry and I was overcome by absolute despair at her words to me: “Lisa I cannot live with the heartache of having lost my beloved Gary, no parent should have to bury their child”. Gary was my uncle and the youngest of my Granny’s sons. I couldn’t contain my tears as I said: “Granny what about me and Keegan, we love you and need you.” Sobbing she responded: “I can’t live with Gary’s death, I just can’t”. I felt as if a knife had been stabbed into my chest, I was so hurt that I could feel the pain physically, I was in agony.
When I left the hospital that day, I sat in the car for a long while, at the time it felt like hours. Nothing I could have said that day would have changed Granny’s mind, her mind was made up and she was not only ready to leave this world, but it was her wish to leave it. She died less than a month after that conversation. At the time, the overwhelming heartbreak was mortifying and felt almost unbearable, looking back I really struggled with it and took huge emotional strain at losing my mentor and my beloved Granny, who I had an incredible bond with for so many years. Our bond had become unbelievably strong after my Grandpa’s passing and as an adult we had become even closer.
When I chose to write this blog, the sad and mournful experience of losing my Granny sprang to mind first, of course there have been many others in my lifetime. Losing my Granny and the crippling despair that she had been in at the loss of her son affected my life. It is good to grieve, and it is good to feel pain, pain means that you were lucky enough to have had something to lose. At the time I had to a certain extent taken a very egotistical approach to the situation. Firstly, I felt as if my Granny should have loved me enough to want to stick around, so to speak. Secondly, I felt devastated at my loss. My pain was all about me. It was heartbreaking watching my Granny in the inconceivable grief that she was in at her loss.
If I could go back I would certainly want to look at it from the outside and analyse it from the opposite angle. The tragedy of losing her son was too much for my Granny to live with, it was never about me or her not loving me enough to want to live. I was hurt because I had made it about me, quite simply, when it in fact had nothing to do with me. I have no doubt whatsoever that my Granny’s love for me and Keegan pure and powerful. We were both apples in her eyes and I had been blessed with an extraordinary relationship with her and I hold the memories I have of her highly.
The trick for me is to take myself out of the situation and look at it from the outside. I am learning to become more of a spectator instead of a participant. Sure, I participate in my own pain to a certain degree, but I am shifting the amount that I participate or take part and how much I allow the pain to affect me. Of course, this is not as easy as it sounds but the key is being conscious of the cause of the pain, analysing the situation and take the blessing out of it.
Within each painful experience, there is some form of blessing. I was blessed with a special relationship with my Granny, Keegan was blessed to have had two great-grannies and he has wonderful memories of both of them. The pain was because I had been blessed with an amazing and unconditional love for the phenomenal woman, who I was lucky enough to call my Granny.
Last week I attended two beautiful funerals. Both funerals were sad, but I have to say I felt that both funerals celebrated the lives of those who passed. The second funeral was that of a delightful man who was a beloved husband, father and Grandfather and a holy man, Bill, who had touched so many lives. Though there were many tears shed, the funeral was certainly a celebration of his life. The world was a better place for many because of his life and hiscontribution to the greater good. He definitely left joyous footsteps in the lives of many, that was clear, and a moving and divine sendoff was held in his name and being part of it was truly special.
No life is completely pain-free, no one dies having never felt pain in their lifetime. Feel your pain but observe it and find the blessing within it. Do not own the pain but please do own the blessing!
RIP Bill and Estelle, may you both rest in peace.