It’s life, K, but not as we know it

Life, involves birth and death.  It just has to.  And for those who are blessed enough, a whole lot of living in the middle.

I’ve spent a bunch of years surrounded by the birthing bit.  It’s cool and painful and transforming and exciting and just everything amazing.

There’s obviously been my babies, which obviously, are the bestest babies ever!

2013-03-02 10.14.51

Just look at them.  Raw.  Perfectly imperfect.  Arrivals out of my control, in the hands of nature and the greater power of your choice.

Then friends and family have their babies, and so life seems to be all about births, babies, growth and growing up.

And then the busyness kicks in.  Work.  School.  Organising home life.  Relationships.  Fitness.  You know – life!  Definitely the middle bit.

But what about the growing old.  The getting sick.  The end of life.

I feel like I’m not allowed to talk about it.  Right now, there are some people close to me who are being drawn into this stage of life.  And I need to talk about it, but I don’t know how.

My head tells me that it is normal.  Life begins and it ends.  It comes and it goes.

But how do I talk to the person facing Cancer to let them know I care, when in reality I can do nothing?  And anything I haven’t done by now, is pretty much irrelevant.  How do I talk to their family – or is saying “I’m sorry.  I care” enough.

When I talk about these things, these people in my life, it’s like I should be consumed with sadness.  I’m not, or not yet.  Instead, I feel like I am suspended, in between the now and the tomorrow which seems to be taking shape.  And a shape that is likely to involve … am I allowed to say it?  Death.  Funerals.  Passing away.  Passing on.  Losing them.

I deal with death every week at work. With my usual professional distance.  Where I can focus on paperwork and processes and outcomes.

It seems that life, in it’s wisdom, is about to show me that this understanding, this knowledge, is helpful but useless.

So I am moving from a life focussing on birth and babies, to life and living, in it’s full form.  Including dying.

And so, it’s definitely life, but not as I know it.

K xxx

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About Kathryn Hodges

Hi! I'm Kathryn. I have many hats in this life. I am a daughter, a sister, a wife, a mother (of 4!), a friend, a keen try-er of yoga, a lawyer, a business owner, an avid reader and a lover of this electronic world and it's connections. As the Principal of a wonderful law firm on the Sunshine Coast, Qld, Australia, I focus on seeing my clients as people going through change and I am committed to practising mindfully that I am dealing with people and their families. Precious stuff, hey! I hope you enjoy learning more about the things that impact on me, my life and my practice. Please leave me a comment, as I'm sure you have something you can show or teach me. We're all in this learning thing, called life, together xx Oh, and my professional obligations mean I have to remind you that my opinions are my own.
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12 Responses to It’s life, K, but not as we know it

  1. Amanda says:

    There is nothing more sad or glorious that a generation changing hands. xx

  2. Sandra says:

    Glad you wrote this. I believe talking openly about death, particularly a person who may be facing it and wants to express their thoughts on this, can only be helpful, therapeutic maybe, even for everyone else too? To manage these situations with openness, honesty, love and support has to be better than ignoring it. xo Don’t envy your role though xo

    • Kathryn Hodges says:

      I hope that being open is best. Just hard when it’s not what we innately know. Most of us hide our difficult stuff.
      K x

  3. Debyl1 says:

    Sorry K that you and your family are going through this tough and very sad time.
    As a nurse who worked in aged care for many years,I always found most people are relieved to have someone to talk about their feelings with…as nearly everyone around them avoids THAT conversation….which makes them feel very very alone.
    Just by letting them know you love them and are sad for them you will open up the lines of communication,so when they need to talk,they will know they have someone with an open heart they can speak to.
    Death isn’t always a sad thing for the one dying.Many times is a relief from their suffering.
    They want to talk about their life….not just focus on their death.
    They don’t need ‘put on’ happy faces with acting like everything is ‘normal’.
    They also don’t need to be surrounded by nothing but crying and sad faces.
    I think your beautiful heart will guide you K and if you listen carefully to it,you will know when the time is right for your words to be spoken.
    Love to you.Xx

    • Kathryn Hodges says:

      Debbie,
      What a great perspective. I think I can do that! Listen. Ask questions. I can do that.
      I’ll keep doing it where and when I can.
      K x

  4. I think people want and need to hear that you care, and are certainly not expecting you to be able to “do” anything. Just being there for them, talking about it if/when/how they want to, those are the important things. We’ve sort of done things back to front in my family, we faced a lot of death – too young to die – and now the births are happening. It’s a welcome change after the sadness and eye-opening/heart-wrenching death part.

    • Kathryn Hodges says:

      I’m sorry to hear that you have already walked with the family impacts of death, and I’m so very pleased to hear that you are enjoying babies and new life now.
      K xxx

  5. Wow, what a powerful piece. This is breathtaking in its honesty and nakedness.

    I think we often filter out the taboos and the “Can’t talk about that”. I find that tough and unhealthy. And usually unnecessary.

    See if you can find a way to experiment by alluding to one of those “Things not done” in a way that is not full of regret or self reprimand – as you say, too late for that now and thank goodness to be released from that! – but in a fond way that acknowledges the choices that together you will have made from time to time and the choices that didn’t get made.

    Share them and keep sharing yourself and finding outlets to communicate what is not communcable elsewhere.

    • Kathryn Hodges says:

      Neil,

      I’m honoured that you took the time to comment on my words.

      You make some wise suggestions. It is no time for regret or disappointment in the past. This is about the present.

      Thanks Neil,
      K xxx

  6. Pingback: A Funeral and a Reminder about Connection | Alphabet Rainbows

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