Mum had to be the bravest and truly was. My dad also brought a whole new brave that I had never seen in him. He hadn’t been there when we were born for fear of fainting so to see him nurse my mother and be such a rock right up until that tender moment when she died and he took the ring off her finger graduated him in my eyes to Super Hero status.
Like every love, every loss is different and like every fear, every brave is different and we all have to be brave sometimes – whether we like it or not.
The definition of brave is ‘Being ready to face and endure danger or pain, showing courage’. I respect that my experience pales in comparison to others losses and that some may even disagree with the fact that one is ‘brave’ during such times because you have no choice but to just cope so when are you ever ‘ready’ to endure danger or pain? I guess that my experience just made me question feeling brave, having courage and how I can prepare myself and my children to be ready to face whatever life throws at us with love and grace.
My kids, who are six and four, obviously had lots of questions about death. We had travelled from the UK to NZ to be with mum for her final six months and lived with my sister who had lost her husband to a brain tumour nine years ago. During our stay, a young boy in my daughter’s class also sadly died, so death became a very real concept for them. How could I best answer their questions? This was perplexing to me but I eventually found my answer…
A very wise friend said that I needed to get my own story clear on death and dying and that when that story was authentic to my heart, I would feel ready to answer their questions. So I spent time on this with myself and it was really refreshing for me to focus on what story I choose to believe and live by and the perspective that this has now brought to my life. I want to be open and honest with my kids and to myself about death. I want us to observe the death and transformation that we see every day to prepare us for the inevitable change that life brings and to be at peace with the process of life.