I recently went on a family holiday to Devon. My dad and I have visited the same town, indeed same holiday home for many years and it is where the last photo was taken of me with my mum back in 2000. She had died less than a year later when I was 15. This year we couldn’t stay at the same place and so I had to find an alternative. I felt at peace somewhere new and for me it was symbolic of the more positive place I’m now at with my grief, that the ties of the past were ready to be released and I can treasure happy memories.
Along with these musings has come a more general awareness that over the past 12 months what started as a process of uncovering the layers of my grief has evolved into a process of discovery. My poem is inspired by that theme.
It started very slowly,
Many years in the making.
A process unable to be rushed,
Far from straightforward.
Not as simple as peeling an orange,
Or removing paper from a present.
Things were hidden deep inside,
Covered in many layers.
Buried away from the light,
Stored below to keep me safe.
Help was needed to start exploring,
To look again at past events.
To process, analyse and reflect,
To free myself from grief’s embrace.
But what began as the uncovering,
Changed along the way,
As learning took place,
And understanding grew.
A transformation was happening,
Visible to me and others too.
Transcending pure uncovering,
And leading somewhere new.
Uncovering had become discovering,
And waiting for me to see.
Was a precious, wondrous, magical gift,
My real, true, authentic self.