As a Community Celebrant®, I have the privilege of working with individuals and families to mark and celebrate significant points in the circle of life, such as birth, union and of course death. Whilst the latter of these is invariably sad for those left behind, it is as much a part of the circle of life as the others. As Benjamin Franklin is believed to have said; “in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”
Inevitably these same events touch me at a personal level and a few weeks ago we said goodbye to my lovely Dad after a short illness. Just a little shy of 78, he had been living with a range of health conditions and as my son said, “had dodged a few bullets” health wise. The way we deal with such life changing moments is personal to each of us, but for me, amongst the sadness and sense of loss, there have been several things which have brought me comfort.
If my role has taught me one thing above all others, it is that life is precious and each moment to be treasured. In the last few years I did not take time spent with my Dad for granted and appreciated every interaction and opportunity to create memories with him. We were able to express our love for each other and there was no ‘unfinished business’ or words unspoken that needed to be said. I and others closest to him were beside him for his final hours and watched as he was released from the cares of life and was at peace. We were blessed.
At his funeral we remembered and celebrated his life and all he had brought to ours, accepting our loss as we said farewell. This week it was his birthday, and we chose that day to scatter his ashes at a local beauty spot close to his home, looking out across the Gloucestershire countryside he loved so much. Amongst the tears, there was a sense of peace and connection to life as we returned his remains to the natural world, and the perpetual cycle that makes up the circle of life.
Rest in peace Dad xxx