This morning I was deeply saddened to hear the news that someone special had died recently. To most it would seem that we had crossed paths a few times and that was all. To me, Mr F represented so much more than that.
When we first met (18th Jan 2015), it was to go on a Shamanic walk of the forest. We met in the front garden of the host and upon seeing me for the first time, Mr F was very taken aback. By the colour of my coat. His first words to me were that he intended to throw me in the mud as it was wrong to be wearing a coat so white 🙂
Throughout the day the comments about my coat were frequent. When a horse nuzzled into me and left a slight muddy patch, Dave was pleased. At the end of the walk he was impressed that I had kept it mostly white for the majority of the day. He was a warm and funny guy. But so much more than that.
I began a Medicine Wheel course with the same host. Mr F attended. During one session I was offered to be the client in a session of Family Constellations. This is where someone takes the place of your mother and father, and you say to them the things you want to. I knew this would be deeply emotional but I accepted as it felt the right time to face such a thing. Then I hoped that Mr F would take the place of the father. He felt safe, loving, and I knew he would treat the situation delicately.
He took on the role of father, and I said the things that were brewing at the time. Mr F had this gift of looking straight into a person. His large eyes would not move from you, if you were the focus of his attention. He listened intently and responded from what his intuition was telling him to say. He dealt with the situation with so much care. Afterwards he recommended I see someone local who does that same therapy, so I may continue my healing in that area. He gave me the name of his chosen person, who I later went to see and gained a great epiphany about my family situation.
Mr F had great presence. I witnessed him holding space for another upset individual at those courses. He would just stand, look deeply at them, say very little, but all the right things, and allow that person to release their emotion in a space of love and pure acceptance. I witnessed him so many times, overcome by the true essence of others. He would often exclaim, “You are beautiful!”, when he saw others being truly themselves. He would stop time with his own wonder, as we would all freeze and take in what he was seeing. He loved so deeply.
Mr F was one of those people who I always thought, I’ll get drunk with him one day. I’ll go walking with him again once day. I’ll see his forest one day (he had one). I’ll get to know him better one day. I always wanted to forge a good friendship with him. It was always awkward to get to see that group of people as they are off my bus route and I don’t drive. I had put it off saying “Next summer I’ll make effort to go spend time”. Then another summer has gone in a flash and I hadn’t made the trip yet again.
There will always be people that leave your life before you’d had the time to do everything you ever planned with them. This will always happen. The resolve to do better is never going to be at the level that is satisfactory. There will always be time that you wished you’d spent. Things you wished you’d done. We can’t do it all.
What I learn from this now is, the process of grief for those on the outer circle. Back around 2002, a good friend of mine died who I had only met once. We were online friends and had met in a chat room. We had a lot of mutual friends and I had been planning to visit some of that group for some time. At the time I was very anxious and my trip to her was a big deal as it was far, and to places I had not yet been. She very suddenly got a blood clot and died. Because I was the outer circle, I was invited only to the mock Viking funeral about a week after her actual funeral. When I arrived at this there were only two of us who were crying and grieving deeply. Myself and her partner. Everyone else had had time to grieve, accept and begin to move forwards a little. I was emotionally unable to stay while everyone was in the ‘celebration of life’ stage. I left shortly after the ceremony.I had so wanted to share my grieving with the inner circles, and be part of the 200 people who turned up at her actual funeral. Showing the world that her passing was noticed.
To be clear, this isn’t a criticism and I understand the reasons for why this is often done this way. But it is hard on the outer circle, who having lost a person, want to feel close to anything touching them and share memories, stories, and learn more about the person from the people who were closer. Because now we cannot 🙁
If anything this is a resolve. When my time comes, I want a huge fairy themed gathering, where everyone is invited. I want my partner to be approached by lots of people, sharing their sentiments about my presence in their lives. I want my family to see who I made an impact on, and why. I want to see what people will wear when they all come together to celebrate my life. I want everyone to grieve together, move through the process together, and know that they are not alone. I want no one to miss me alone. I want people to be able to pick up the phone and say to someone, “I miss Clair. Tell me something that she would do.”
This is my promise that my death will not create an outer circle.