It has been a long hot dry summer but the last couple of weeks have brought us some rain which has been very good for the garden. One day last week I opened the door, as I do every day, to let in the fresh air and to give thanks for all around me. This particular morning was different than the previous ones. It was cooler and fresher but there was also a distinctive feel and smell of the coming autumn. It’s not something I find easy to put into words but the feel and smell is something I recognise and know that autumn is on its way.
Looking back at the days of summer I see lots of flowers, their wonderful colours still there for the coming days. I noticed the number of birds too. I have a large thick hedge at the top of my garden and it has been home to several broods of birds, blackbirds, sparrows and robins. It has been a wonderful experience to watch them grow into adult birds. This last week a sparrowhawk visited as well. Luckily all the smaller birds were safe in the hedge and surrounding bushes.
I have also noticed the large number of bees visiting the flowers. But many of the flowers are there specifically for that purpose, to attract the bees. There are not so many now but they are still coming finding other plants attractive when their favourite ones have finished flowering.
There has been a large number of different butterflies visiting the flowers especially the buddleias which are commonly known as butterfly bushes. I have also seen damselflies and dragonflies whizzing around the garden but not often settling for photos! The plum tree and the brambles (which are not really wanted as they stop other plants from growing) have done exceptionally well and I have lots of fruit in my freezer. There were so many plums that I have been giving them to neighbours. Someone said it must be the fifth year as you get an abundant crop every five years.
But what I have noticed the most is the abundance of everything. There has been wonderful colour, and food for everything that comes into the garden, and watching the birds trying to get the blackberries and plums has been entertaining at times.
So now the season is changing and there will be different things to watch and to do as well. But my main thought at this point in time is ‘Abundance!’
There are many words in the English language that have added to or changed their meanings over the years. Closure is one of those words. It meant and still means the closure of coal mines and department stores for example. But it has now got another meaning, closure after an unpleasant time or experience. I suppose it still means the act or process of closing something even with its extra definition.
So closure is the feeling or act of bringing an unpleasant time or experience to an end so that you can start again. Closure could refer then to ending one job which was not pleasant and starting a new job. Once you got into the new job you could forget about all the bad bits of the previous job. But is it that easy?
What about separation or divorce? How easy is it to start again and forget the bad bits? If children are involved then this can make it even harder to let go of the past and move on. Letting go of the pain is hard but it needs to be done if you want to move on. You can make a conscious decision to let the pain and anger go but if this doesn’t work you can try to express your pain and anger. You can write letters to the other person but not send them. Instead you can burn them with the intent that the pain and anger has gone so you can move forward again.
You also need to ‘be’ in the present. Focus on what you are doing now and enjoy your life as it happens. The final thing you have to do is to forgive the other person and that is possibly the hardest bit of all. But if you keep the pain and anger inside you, it will make you ill later on.
But how do you have closure when someone dear to you dies? Our emotions at that time run deep and as the grieving process takes its course we think of closure. Personally I find that with a death of a loved one, there is never what you could call a proper closure. We learn to live with the fact that our loved ones are no longer with us. Our love does not die so we have to learn to accept that they are no longer here but closure, I don’t think so. You can move on and even find another partner but your life has changed from what it was before the death occurred so you look at everything and everybody through different eyes. Also grieving can take several years as you adjust to the fact that your loved one has gone.
Is closure something that we deal with and achieve, or is it a myth?
Loss is something that most of us see at least once a week. We lose our belongings for example. Sometimes we lose precious belongings, items which mean a lot to us. There is a big difference between losing a pencil for example, a twenty pound note and a watch that belonged to a member of your family that has long gone. Losing something precious like the watch makes us feel sad and even if we get a new watch it does not replace the old one in our hearts.
Losing a pet is even harder to deal with and the grief can last for many months. You never forget them or the joy they brought you but they keep a piece of your heart for ever. Many people have pets instead of children so when a pet dies, the loss to them is greater. Losing someone close to you is even harder than losing a pet. My father died in 1981, my husband in 1995 and my mother in 2003 so you would think I know how to grieve by now. What I have found is that each time someone close to me dies, it brings back all the memories of the previous deaths. So this week I have been feeling a deep sadness at the loss of a very dear friend.
If you search the internet you will find lots of help and suggestions to help you deal with your grief. Some of these I have found helpful, like keeping to your daily routine as much as you can. You may not feel like doing anything but it is good to actually do the housework or go shopping however painful it seems. There will be bad days but I found that the gap between the bad days and the good ones got longer and there became more of the good days. It takes time to come to terms with losing someone close to you. Anniversaries are the worst days but after the first year of grief you have got through most of those. It is important to try to do joyful things even though you feel sad. I have found that sitting in the garden watching the bees and butterflies helps me
Talking to others or writing a journal can also help. But I need to say that losing loved ones does not always happen through death. There is divorce and separation for other reasons and there are those family members who decide to shun the rest of the family and deliberately lose contact. Grieving also happens in these cases.
One thing to remember that whoever you have lost, they have a small space in your heart where you will remember them for ever and you will remember the good times not just the bad ones.