In support of a remembrance

We tend to view support mostly in the context of time – when the individual is within the grips of cancer or treatment. But, the importance of support should also be seen in the aftermath when the individual has passed away.

We live a very fast life and time has become a sparse commodity and any incursion is viewed with skepticism and annoyance. In our hasty comings and goings we have moved away from one more important ingredient of our family and cultural heritage, namely the symbols that have played a part in our life and the lives of our loved ones.

Support should be evident in the sharing of these symbols in life that over the years have become part of the individual so that we can, with grace and consideration, recall them in the aftermath of his/her life.

We often refer to “she would have appreciated that”, “that reminds me of him” or “I will always remember him by this.” The metaphorical, as well as physical space left behind by the individual who has passed away affords an opportunity for these symbols to be acknowledged and perhaps resurrected in remembrance of this person.  Perhaps it is a candle burning, the fresh scent of the Jasmine in the garden, the sadness of a Mozart nocturne, or a passage from a well-loved book. These particular symbols form a direct link and should be recognised while the moment is preserved as a shared remembrance with whoever is present; the loved one, a family member or friend.

In our fleeting days we should make time for these transient moments and memories not just in support of ourselves but by sharing them with others who are also feeling the loss of the person and who may be equally reluctant, or pressed for time to come forward with a momentary support in remembrance of the one who has passed on.

“ Molly, I know it is late but I have just heard that old song that Dad loved so much, and my heart just collapsed under the grief and I decided to phone you immediately. How are you?”

This remembrance affords the opportunity to unite two sisters in support of one another in their mutual grief.

Incorporating this kind of attitude or approach in our behaviour patterns, may help to alleviate our guilt of not having the time or the resources to be there for people left behind in this process of mourning on an ongoing basis.

Written by Dr Magda Rall

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