I read a little of Rebecca Abrams’ ‘When Parents Die’ this evening, which my friend Garry, whose father died while he was 12, lent me. It arrived with a heart warming note inside:
‘I hope that when you find time to read this book, you find solace. I know I did, even after many years! It might put a few things into perspective.’
I have been amazed time and again over the past two and a half months, since my mother’s death, how these small gestures of friendship, caring, and solidarity can make such a significant difference, and I will be ever grateful for each and every one.
There have been a few sections in the book that have struck powerful chords with me over the past couple of days, and I feel I need some time to cogitate over each of these a bit further. There are two quotes I would like to share tonight, however. The first is from Shakespeare’s Macbeth, and I used it as both my facebook and Skype status tonight:
“Give sorrow words; the grief that does not speak,
Whispers the o’er fraught heart, and bids it break.”
The second are the author’s words, and ones that spoke of how I have instinctively felt about my mother’s death, and wished I could convey to the world. So, tonight I will say it using someone else’s words.
“You do not ever ‘get over’ the death of a parent. A parent’s death is not a fence to be climbed over, or a stile to be crossed. It is an event which shapes your life from this moment on, just as, when still alive, your parent played a huge part in shaping your life. A parent’s death totally alters your perspective on life. It changes the way you view friends and relatives; it alters your attitude towards work, play, sex, religion. You are not the same person after someone you love and need and care about has died, and to think of ‘getting over it’ is a waste of time. The very best you can hope to do – and in fact it is the very best you can do – is adapt, be flexible, find ways of fitting into your changed world. You do not get over a death, but you can come to terms with it. You can learn how to fit death into life somehow; how to find some place in your life for the experience that you have been through – and continue to go through.”