Finding the joy and feeling the sorrow…..

This past couple of weeks has been an exercise in finding the joy in everyday life as well as feeling the sorrow. My nephew – Craig – my elder sister Anne’s son – died very suddenly from cardiac arrest at the age of 47. It shocking and brutal – devastating for my sister and his wife and young family.

But of course these sorts of losses are happening all the time around us to people we know and love as well as just aquaintances. How we deal with loss and death continues to fascinate me. Some people prefer not to talk about it all and keep it all inside – others find comfort in sharing their story. But how to do this without oversharing will always be an art and skill in progress.

My attitude is that death is a part of all of our lives – like it or not – and the more it is brought out in to the open and discussed – hopefully – the better we get at dealing with it. When my stepfather Theo died six years ago at home in Governors Harbour we were all very aware of how open everybody was about discussing it and comforting my Mum as well as us. A very different story to my Mum’s experience when she was suddenly widowed for the first time at the age of 56 back in the UK. Then there was embarrassment and avoidance pretty much as the norm.

As a society the rituals of mourning are often sadly neglected – or are seen as something to be got over as soon as possible. Modern Western society has much to learn from more traditional societies about periods of ritualized grieving. Loss of this kind changes us forever and trying to find ways of integrating the grief and learning to live with loss is something that we all could do with and then share more widely…….

Not much like the usual topics for my weekly blog eh ?

However – as I say in the title – finding the joy while feeling the sorrow has been an exercise for the past couple of weeks. I am in the UK for the funeral – in fact it is on the day you will be reading this – and I have a small collection of joys to share with you.

Regular readers will know that gratitude is a very important theme for me personally – and I am very grateful to be able to spot some of those moments of joy, happiness and irony as well as welcoming the kindness of both friends and strangers that can pop up when you need them the most.

So here are a few instances that made me smile or caught my imagination to share with you……

This is a Pineapple Air plane – it brought a smile to my face as I started my journey to England last Saturday.
Waiting in Nassau airport – the joy of this little morsel wearing her pink outfit was a delight…..
Oooops – slight wardrobe malfunction but such is life – right ?
A delicious Thai curry at Shima – Island House Hotel – tasted as good as it looked.
I spent a little while sitting in the lobby of the hotel waiting for a taxi – this book was an absolute delight – I will be buying it for the library at Colman Towers…..
It is Chelsea Flower Show in London this week and many places in the city had beautiful displays to celebrate the world renowned show…. Loved this one….

Remember to treasure your loved ones – who knows how long we will have together. Be kind to strangers and those around you – who knows what they are going through right now….. And keep your eyes open for the things that lift your heart – we all need to make a collection in our heads and hearts of the sights, sounds and tastes that bring us those little daily perks and blips of delight…….

Of course there is nothing like a hug from your granddaughters to lift the heart – this was an unexpected bonus as I wasn’t sure if there would be time to see them – but it all worked out.
I snapped this picture of the pink car while I was in a taxi – you just knew that the woman driving it had always wanted a pink convertible – and now she has it – joy !
I am not fussed about cars personally – but my thanks to the delightful young woman at the car rental desk who told me she was upgrading me from a basic stick shift small rental car to this swishy Mercedes for no extra charge – just because ! She had no idea why I was renting the car – obviously to drive north for the funeral of dear Craig – but her random act of kindness made my journey a whole lot more comfortable than it would have been….. Like I say – the kindness of strangers….

13 thoughts on “Finding the joy and feeling the sorrow…..

  1. I’m so sorry to hear of your nephews death. What devastation for all of you. I will pray for comfort. Last week we were in Eleuthera and I looked everywhere for you. (I’m hoping for a chance encounter.). At the end of our trip, I learned my mom was passing after a long Alzheimer’s journey. Although I was sad, I cannot think of a better place to be than my beloved Eleuthera. It soothes my soul and if not beside her, it’s where I should have been. Blessings to your family.

    1. Oh I’m so sorry that we didn’t meet…… You can always just stop by our office and say hello. So pleased that you found a way of making sense of being in the right place at the right time. Kindest regards to you and thank you…..

  2. So sorry Kathy, your posting was very special. Once in a while one has to come to grips with difficult emotions. You said it very well.

      1. Really enjoy your blog!!!
        My son lives in Gregory Town and so I have visited the island for many years and LOVE IT!!!!!!!

  3. Thank you for sharing Kathy. So sorry for your loss. I do appreciate your words of wisdom today. Love reading your posts about our beloved Eleuthera! Always have such fond memories of staying in all your homes over the years ❤️

  4. Kathy,
    I hope you can remember how you offered me comforting words and special kindness as I worked through a death in my own family during a visit with you (we stayed in Peach House). At that time I knew you were a spiritual guide to me. I always wanted to thank you.
    You have a beautiful understanding of how death and dying teach us so much about life, joy and gratitude.
    I am sorry for your loss.

    Best to you and Bob,

    1. Thank you so much Dee for these special words….. What a wonderful message to receive on a Monday morning ! This is the thing I will have the most gratitude for today ….. Thank you for the message again……

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