Monday, 19 February 2018


When you work as a carer and your shifts become palliative, the outcome is obvious.
There’s a tumble of variables around how you feel about this: how your relationship was with this other human, were they suffering, and suchlike.
There is a need to maintain professional distance, yet be truthful with yourself.

There are endings. There are last meetings of friends and family. Hard to envision a life shared without tears, regrets, hilarious remembrances. The most complicated things can become simple - the simplest gesture, a kaleidoscope of references.

You look back too and see, that trip out turned out to be the last.
The last time the favourite top was worn, the last time we watched the favourite film.
But that glance back is not sad, exactly.
Because of your work, something wonderful happened. And kept happening.
A luminosity.

When death came - it was as though an artist had signed a fine portrait.

How lucky we were, to be part of that. To witness so readily the joy in our grief.

Grief is deeply personal, I do believe, and fundamental. As much as it can fracture, it can join us, and we can resolve to work together to create better worlds. That’s my universal view.

My personal tribute was impromptu, towel-less. Having kept myself wrapped up all winter to avoid being a carrier of respiratory germs, I saw the sea rolling and kicked off my trousers along with my boots, and nearly lost my abandoned clothes to the fast tide, and dipped my shocked-happy body in the ocean, and swam. 

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