Blog

My heart goes out to these families who have had the rug ‘doubly’ pulled from under their feet with the sudden U-turn of another ‘lock down’ in our community. These families are being called to pause and wait until such time as they can gather with those who want to stand with them and mourn. An uncertain and unknown future. However grief can’t be put on hold and so I hope and pray for breath, rest, healing and a time to soak in memories. This is a time for us...

Recently, on a pristine autumn morning, I led a Family Memorial Gathering in a private home, for a much loved 97 year old mother, grandmother and great grandmother who had died during lockdown level 4 for Covid 19. As I drove there my eyes settled on a gracious old tree in a park, with her autumn glory fading and resting on the ground. It  reminded me of the colour and seasonality of our lives. When one lives to a great age, and it is a life well-lived, you see in the last...

I have been moved during his season of lockdown for COVID-19 by the creativity and giving – the radical generosity that has surfaced in our communities. Teddy bears in windows to enable an afternoon walk to become a ‘bear hunt’; neighbours, organisations and churches phoning the elderly and isolated;  young people and neighbours shopping for those who can’t; streets celebrating children’s birthday’s with balloons and messages of love on letterboxes; our spirits being lifted by our musicians, actors and poets offering their gifts on YouTube bringing ‘aha!’ moments, laughter and...

A moment to mark To remember Gratitude shown For hands extended And love sown In yester year. A memorial service provides us  with a  sacred moment to acknowledge and mark the loss of our loved ones, at a small or sometimes, quite long time, after their loss. Naomi Shihab Nye writes“Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside,You must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.” It is so often in these moments of deep sorrow when family and community gather, that kindness is extended and reaches into our souls, bringing warmth and love and light. In...

“We are never finished with grief. It is part of the fabric of living. It is always waiting to happen. Love makes memories and life precious; The grief that comes to us Is proportionate to that love And is inescapable.” - V S Naipaul Today I am thinking of the precious couple Emma and Dan whose darling daughter Jasmine Charlotte was still born at 37 ½ weeks in January 2019. So heart breaking. This beautiful quote speaks to me of that inescapable grief that surrounds such a loss. A grief woven into the fabric of their living and loving....

Recently my family gathered together in Christchurch to inter our dear Dad’s ashes alongside our dear Mother whom we interred in September last year at the time of Dad’s 90th birthday, just 10 days before he passed away. A quiet morning Quiet in the morning As we pause to pray Loving memory holds sway Fresh roses and daisies Lovingly picked and laid Fragrant with memory Of giving from gardens and hearts In some past day. We give thanks for our dear father As we lay him to rest With our mother Already lying in peace Her presence fresh As we gently sprinkle the earth The wind...

It’s with a deep sense of gratitude that I turn my face towards this year and a new decade. Gratitude that God is here and present. Gratitude for a year gone by woven with sacred moments. Moments of celebration anointed with hours of planning and sparkling with the evidence of that. Gratitude for spontaneous celebrations and moments of beauty in the outdoors, saved with the pause as they take your breath away. Gratitude for the deep, emotional, quiet, spirit filled moments as I journeyed towards my father’s death with him. Moments of closeness, stillness, gratitude. The forever...

Recently I have been reading from John O’Donohue’s "Benedictus: A Book Of Blessings". He is a poet from the Celtic tradition and all his work evokes a sense of warmth and belonging and a yearning and a sense for the deeper things in life. It is often as we stand at the threshold of change and loss that we feel that yearning for something beyond ourselves and the warmth and courage that that can bring. The word blessing helps us here as it evokes a sense of warmth and protection; it suggests...

My own experience of grief is that it leaves you awash and somewhat at sea in the general melee of life. It is multifaceted, many coloured and variously described as seasons or waves. I was surprised recently as I lost my dear mother, at the extreme tiredness that suddenly overcame me and yet I know that others can have incredible energy and want to clean out or go for a bike ride. So these words from a loving friend “be gentle on yourself” resonated and I gave myself permission to sleep,...

Recently my dear Mother passed away. She was frail and elderly and yet this was sudden and unexpected. Indeed we were on holiday in the farthest corner of the world – Portugal! At the time a close and wise friend said something that continues to resonate with me. TAKE YOUR TIME – YOU ONLY DO THIS ONCE. When dear Mum died, in a sense it felt like there was ‘no time’. There was the pressure of so much to be considered and decisions to be made – intermingled with my own and other...