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When your world falls in.
revdkathy
Over my many years in ministry I've worked with all sorts of people dealing with all sorts of losses – many of them utter tragedies. The pain of loss is different for each person, and never to be minimised. One of the worst things that people say is that you will get over it, or that time is a great healer. It's not. So I developed my bereavement theology of the mineshaft. It should probably be noted that I live in Cornwall, where the experience described is perhaps less unlikely than in other parts of the world!A

Imagine you have a garden, a beautiful garden, that you have tended, worked in and enjoyed for a long time. And one morning you wake up to find that an old mineshaft has opened up in the middle of your garden – a great yawning hole, into which many of the things you cherished have fallen irretrievably. And now you have to start finding your way around the garden with this bloody great hole.

In the earliest days, you find that you can barely set foot in the garden. Whichever way you try to go, you find the mineshaft is in your way, and you fall in, causing yourself bruising, pain, broken bones. And you rely on others to lift you out.

Then you start to find ways of getting yourself out of the hole, pausing while you're there to look around at the bits of your garden you have lost.

As time goes on, you start to make new paths around your garden: you find a way to get down to the raspberry canes at the bottom without actually falling in the hole. You realise that you still have the camellias if not the roses, and that you can still enjoy what is left of your garden. You build some new paths, lay fresh paving and even plant new rosebushes.

But just occasionally you forget the hole is there, walk the wrong way, and fall in. And when you do it hurts every bit as much as it did on the first day. Never believe people who try to tell you it should hurt less: that hole stays as deep and painful as ever. You just get on with living and fall in less often.

So you get on with living with the hole. Your life goes on around it.

And if you are really, really lucky, it will fill with water, acquire rushes at the edges, and you can float water lilies on it in memory of the one you have lost. And that's the point when you realise that your garden is more beautiful for having loved, even if you have lost the one you love.
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This is just...I can't think of adequate words for how good this is.

Happy new year, Revd.

Thank you. And happy new year to you, too.

PS: *** hugs ***

You're one of the best, smartest and wisest people I've ever encountered, anywhere. This entry just confirms it all over again.

I shall never get my swollen head through the hyperlink out of here now!

*hugs*

*hugs Kathy*
I know what its like, really.

I hope we'll able to meet up again someday, I very much remember Cornwall, St Just and the visit. :)

I hope the Christmas card made it to you. :)

Yes thanks. The card cleverly arrived yesterday when there wasn't supposed to be any post. Not sure how that happened!

The world is too small a place for us not to ever meet again. ;-)

That made me cry. Thank you for it - it makes so much sense.

Aww. Sorry to make you cry. But glad it makes sense. :-)

This is beautiful. Thank you.

You're welcome. Thank you for the comment.

simply amazing

(Anonymous)

2011-01-03 03:30 pm (UTC)

I have no words to explain..how true this is...true to its deepest core..!! hats off.....!!!

Thank you. :)

i was told "you won't get over it but you will get used to it". true words.

This is very true!

(Anonymous)

2011-01-04 11:33 am (UTC)

Hi RevdKathy,

I find these thoughts very true, and I especially like the garden metaphor. My favourite part is this: "Never believe people who try to tell you it should hurt less: that hole stays as deep and painful as ever. You just get on with living and fall in less often."

Thanks for writing it!
Cheers,
Venemo

"But just occasionally you forget the hole is there, walk the wrong way, and fall in. And when you do it hurts every bit as much as it did on the first day."

So very true.

Everything seems hunky-dory, you are used to the new arrangement and adjusted to it but one day you get distracted by a bird singing in a nearby tree, don't watch where you are walking and *WHAM!!!**

You crawl out, go back into the house and kick the wall in frustration, which is stupid given that you're already hurting from falling into the hole again. *grin*

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