Of late I have felt quite restricted in the way I write, and what I write. Part of me would love to just “let go” and “let it all hang out” but something stops me! As a result I have found my creativity beginning to get tired and fizzle out. I guess also that because it has been Christmas I have wanted to write more happy stuff (not sure whether I managed it or not).
However, I want to write here, a strange and wonderful experience that I had on Christmas Day.
As usual there was some serious family drama that we had to deal with. We had intended to go to the little church way out in the countryside, that is very isolated, just to find some peace. Christmas holds terrible memories for me, and so I just wanted to connect with something a bit different. We had planned no Christmas lunch or anything like that. All that we wanted was peace. We did not get it! Well, not immediately!
However, we did eventually attempt to set off for the little church late in the afternoon, with me feeling traumatised. The peace was very much needed. As we were driving along, however, I realised that actually it was too late to go. It would soon be dark.
I asked my husband to turn back, thinking about what the roads might get like very soon. I had no idea where to go then, as I did not want to go home. It still was a little bit light.
For some reason I decided that we might find peace in the crematorium grounds in our town. It is actually a very beautiful and peaceful place. You can hear the sounds of nature all around and, though I cannot see, I know that there are beautiful trees and bushes all around.
It was very strange when we got there. My husband stopped at the entrance to read the Notice telling us of the opening times, as we did not want to get locked in through not knowing when it was going to close. As we sat there on the threshold to the grounds, I suddenly felt something that was almost tangilbe. I felt as if we were e tering hallowed ground. I had NEVER felt that before whn going to the crematorium. But on this day I DID. And the line between ordinary lifeb, and what was over the threshold was clear. One side of the line was one thing, and the other side was another thing. It was weird!
We drove into the grounds of the crematorium, and the sky was just beginning to turn a beautiful rosy pink over on the horizon. We stopped for a while, and just rested. The oeace was just wonderful, after what had just experienced that afternoon.
After sitting for a few minutes, allowing ourselves to just experience this beautiful peace, I asked my husband f he would drive round to where my father had been scattered in 2001. In fact, he was scattered, with no member of the family or anyone else there, under a Lavateria bush. We felt this to be quite fitting, once we knew that, as he always used to call them Lavatory Trees, so we had a quiet chuckle to ourselves.
My husband duly set off, but then after a few minutes he announced,
“This is where your grandmother was scattered.”
I squealed, and begged him to stop. My grandmother loved me very greatly, and it was to her that I would go when things got tough at home. She was the love of my lufe as a child, and she gave me sanctuary many times.
We had known exactly where she had been scattered, but it had kind of slipped out of my mind and, of recent days, I had been going to sit in my home village to try and reconnect with her. I had sat at the lane end to the farm where I often went, remembering my days of walking up the lane with her at nught when it was dark, looking up at the stars and the vast night sky, and asking her where God was. But I gad never felt really, that I had “found” her there.
But suddenly, as my husband stopped the car, I had an amazing experience. That which had been lost was suddenly found. I had been looking in the wrong place. She was HERE. This was her final resting okace, under a tree, amidst the grass and whatcwill soon be daffodils.
Suddenly, as I sat, I felt she was aluve again and walking with me on the grass. She was smiling and happy, and young again. We were chatting together, and she was SO pretty. And the strangest thing of all was that I, too, was younger, and I was abke to SEE, and was without my wheelchair. I could WALK, and SEE. It was a mist beautiful experience.
I knew, on that day, that my beloved grandmother was not in some far distant village, but that she was HERE, just up the road from where I live, and that I can go and “see” her any time! I do not have to travel. She is here.
In the end, it was a most amazing Christmas Day. I WAS With family in the end, just as I have always wanted to be on Christmas Day but never have been.
So THAT was my most unconventional, but deeply moving, Christmas Day.