Jan 13, 2017
Should Auld Acquaintance...
Circle of Life Community Hospice
Be forgot, I believe is the next line. That always bothered me as it is always hard to say goodbye, and impossible to forget the faces etched in the memory of our heart. I think of the families that have lost loved ones this past year. I think back to January particularly as that was the month my daughter died and I shared a kinship with the other families who were standing where I stood. I think of those same families now and wonder what growth and what good they may have learned through loss.
So many times people would say when speaking of their own loss that the death of a child would be the most difficult. I turned this over and over again in my mind as for years my professional system would say that all loss is equal and subjective, unquantifiable. I can say that the loss of my daughter is the most difficult compared to the loss of my mother, grandparents, and close friends. Compared to those others this loss is the one that transformed my life the greatest. I can say with the greatest of truth that I am not the same person today that I was one year ago. I walk gently, speak softly and find myself standing in a deeper truth.
When you give birth, a piece of your heart walks forever outside your body in the shape of that child. I’ve found that retrieving that piece after Ali died took me into places, experiences, and relationships, particularly with other parents who have lost a child, that allowed me to see not only my grief, but our collective grief in a new way. A way where we don’t have to say goodbye.
I wrote this after reflecting at this same point in time one year after my daughter’s death. This is my first submission since I wrote the above. Now seven years later, as I was walking I decided that I wanted to research the history of this song. It was written by Robert Burns in 1788. It began as a Scottish tradition to sing this ballad at the point of the year where father time walks away and baby new year arrives. It asks the same question that it had a year ago. The question of should we really bid farewell to days gone by? This universal question has a universal answer. Just as light overcomes darkness, love overcomes suffering. It’s not possible to ever forget the loss of a loved one. Why would we want to?