Sometimes…By Emma Pearson
December 6, 2023
Photos by me this weekend – the exact spot I was with Edward. I have one with him grinning widely. I cannot find it. For now. But I will.
20 February 2022
Sometimes when I come to reflect on what to write about each week, I just know.
I know – yes – THIS is the incident, the thought, the feeling, the reflection, the conversation, the insight, the piece of wisdom that LANDED in my marrow.
THIS is the poem, the quote, the text.
THIS is the image, the metaphor, the dream.
THIS is the song, the piece of music.
THIS is the memory.
Sometimes when I come to reflect on what to write about, I scrabble, I scratch, I turn over my week, like soil, like rubble, like a gold panner – and come up with… nothing – at least not straight away.
Sometimes when I come to reflect on what to write about, I swing left to right, up and down, go inside out, like roundabouts spinning, like swings swinging, like slides dipping. And get dizzy.
Shall I write about this? Or this? Or this? Or that?
It is like that tonight as I wonder… which of the week’s jewels, or pieces of coal, makes for something meaningful.
In Megan Devine’s Writing Your Grief Programme, there is an insistence to not feel one “ought” to write at all in response to the prompts if you don’t want to. To just notice the response you are having to the prompts. To notice if you love them. Or hate them. To notice resistance. And to write about the resistance if you want.
And so I am easy with the not knowing. I don’t have a goal, a standard, a word count, to aim for. I can write what I want to.
Shall I write about my Shitty Valentine’s day last week?
Shall I write about two therapeutic discussions about my Shitty Valentine’s day – both on Friday – with the super gentle Victoria I from Moldova, or the supremely insightful Simon G from Canada?
Shall I write about the rich Kaleidoscope of Grief and Grieflings I am honoured to meet, to work with, this month as I co-facilitate another round of the 30-day Writing Your Grief programme. It turns out that one of the writers lives near me, thinks we have crossed paths. I am so so so so sorry to read of her loss.
Shall I write about the brave and lovely Kim who wants to be a friend, and who now is already a friend, just because she reached out and said, “I would love to buy (cook?) you lunch one day if you’re willing. I would appreciate sharing some time and get to know you a little better”. What an act of courage.
Shall I write about how I still cannot help but feel blessed by the gifts of COVID-times. The space it’s given me to adapt, to catch up – or perhaps it’s simply been that all of the rest of the world has slowed down to my pace. All of the rest of the world has become aware of the precariousness of life. The proximity of death.
Shall I write about a “normally abnormal day” of going for a cross-country ski with Medjool, and, doing a different route, found myself suddenly in the exact spot where, when I had last been there, Julia, Mike, Edward and Don were all alive. Indeed, I had been accompanying Edward out on a cross-country ski – some months after his first operation to remove what could be removed of his newly discovered Glioblastoma. I remember his glee at being high up, above the Geneva winter fog, in brilliant sunshine. Surrounded by beauty, brilliance, white freshness. Joyous. No doubt already his Joy wrapped with Grief. Or Grief wrapped in Joy. Same same.
Or shall I write about the crazy due diligence I am obliged to do as strangers-to-me sign up to join my Multiple Losses group. The sick feeling I have as I write back with – “At risk of being intrusive, and for the psychological safety of both you and the whole group, would you please write some brief notes to me about your lost loved ones?”
Each and any of these events, these experiences, feel worthy of a full – or at least half – blog post.
But it’s too hard to choose.
And so I leave it like this. Half-baked. Semi-processed. A work in progress.
Some pieces might become more. Some might be forgotten. We shall see.
Just another normal week. Just another normally horrifying week. Just another joyous week.
A very complete week. That I am grateful for.