Monday, December 29, 2008

Joy and Woe

There is always confusion and disruption when there is a death in the family. I am working on a palliative ward and nursing our patients and their families to their last moments. Intellectually I recognize that the behaviors around a deathare all normal in their own way. But it's hard in your own family.
In Sociology (Symbolic Interacionism) we learn that our identity is made up of roles we identify with, many of them in social context. I am a mother and a daughter and a wife and a granddaughter. If I lose my Grandma, am I still a granddaughter? Who am I now. How do I keep myself together? The volleys of deep feelings, unexamined, have been flying over my head while I worked. Doing long shifts and nights is a bit like travelling. You're really not a part of anything till re-entry.
I am sad that we are hurting. But I hope everyone just recognizes that this is supposed to be difficult. Give others some slack. Give yourself some slack. We need the fabric that is our family to not be stretched so tightly.
I had another loss. One of my aunties who welcomed my sisters and I into her house for whole summers at a time. But time has widened the gap between us and for that I am sorry.
What a blessing to be surrounded by the most adorable babies of the cousins. Babies that laugh and cuddle and are not shy eventhough we only see them a few times a year.
Maybe I should go back to working in Pediatrics. Maybe I should be wary. Since my kids were born I found it so much more difficult.
The snow is melting in the warm rain. Time is unaffected by our debaucles.

William Blake
Auguries of Innocence
(as misquoted on CBC by PK Rangachari)

Joy and woe are woven fine
A clothing for the soul divine
And under every grief and pine
Runs a joy with silken twine

And it is right this should be so
For man was made for joy and woe
And when this thing we rightly know
Safely through the world we go.


Angie said...

I understand your questions. You are still a granddaughter, just as I am. I'm sorry for your aunt's passing. Be gentle to are so right this is a difficult time. *hugs*

Nancy McCarroll - Arts, Crafts and Favorites said...

You have a mission. Don't give up on it. Pls go here:

to read another wonderful poem by Grant Tullar. (My Life is But a Weaving)

Keep up your good work. Nancy