Sunday, 28 April 2013

Four funerals and a wedding

Spring has certainly sprung here in Strumpetville. The sun is shining, the balcony is getting more verdant by the day and your Cheerful Fairy is very much feeling the benefit of the warmer days and lighter evenings.

Fella and I are due to be civil-partnered in a shade under three weeks. It's getting quite exciting/nerve wracking and it would seem weddings have some fractal properties - behind every activity is another, and another ad infinitum. I long, gentle reader, for the days when in exchange for money goods were received and services rendered. And having enough spare cash to engage in retail therapy! But soon, my pretty, soon...

Looking back on the near-four years we have been together it struck me how much of our time has been shaped by death. Perhaps an odd thought when we are preparing for the new beginning that married life represents; and at the height of spring as well.

I first met Fella's family as they returned home from the funeral of his grandfather. He met most of my family at the funeral of my grandfather. Then of course there was the tragic loss of Fella's mother to cancer just over a year ago. Most recently we travelled to Cardiff for the funeral of Fella's uncle.

All of this has taken a heavy toll on Fella and he sometimes finds it difficult to cope with grief. We will no doubt think a little of the people we have lost, the people who won't be there. I myself up to now have never really had to deal with death very much. Great grandparents faded away when I was a child, and I've been lucky there were no deaths, accidents or illness, amongst my peers. That is all. Therefore I don't know how to help Fella when he gets very depressed about his loss.

I think the point I'm trying to make is that when 15 May comes around there will be an touch of bitter-sweet about it. You can never really predict how people will react but more than one person has cautioned me to be on the look out for some bad behaviour. Warnings I haven't appreciated receiving; they to add a touch of nerves.

Really, birth and death will be part of our lives together and I'm sure one thing that can't hurt is focussing on the future and our lives together. Especially since Fella's sister in law is due to give birth to the first niece/nephew a few weeks after we get hitched :-)


Antony said...

Hi Mike,

I read your post a few days ago, but wanted to have a think before I posted this comment.

I've learned that the grief stricken me doesn't cry (weird I know), but instead sleeps a lot, looses his motivation and zest for life. We all have our own ways of coping with grief, but what I found helped was to live rather than exist and experience the reasons I love to live: true joy, happiness and love.

The wedding with be a joyful day; of course it will remind him of whose not there to share the day, but it will also remind him who is still around and loves him dearly. Hopefully the day will remind him of the high of joy and happiness which couldn't exist without the low of grief and sadness. It will remind him that he has a future with someone that loves him.

Our flaws and demons always come out when we are most vulnerable. My advice would be to keep an eye on him, be supportive and were necessary pull him up on any bad behaviour. Sometimes we need someone to remind us that the bad behaviour is unacceptable - almost like a parent I guess.

As you said the cycles of birth and death are part of life; all we can do is enjoy the highs together and support each other through the low times.

Take care, thinking of you & fella,

A x

Mike said...

Thanks Anthony. I thought of you when I was drafting this as your own posts have been an inspiration. Your advice is bang on as are your instincts. X

Antony said...

Hi Mike,

I don't know if anyone - EVER - has said that anything I write is inspirational lol so thank you, even though I don't quite believe it.

Hope all is well.

- The big day approaches :-)

A x