Once, when my child died in pregnancy, a loving relative told me that it was “all for the best. There was probably something wrong.” Erroneously timed, clichéd and facile, it was a mistake. Don’t repeat it. Grieve alongside the sorrowful or just “be” in their presence. That will provide all the comfort needed.
A child, a new life, always brings hope. The loss of hope should never be categorised as anything other than gut-wrenchingly explosive, joy-drainingly horrifying or personally cataclysmic.
Life without hope is unendurable.
We must find hope every day – albeit in the tiniest and most unusual of ways and places – the hope of a kind word or the smile of even a stranger. (An elderly lady, a few years ago, thanked me for a “Good Morning”, tossed lightly, as we passed on the road. Should a greeting ever be so rare that it becomes a privilege?) The hope that, today, we will get a seat on the bus, satisfy our boss, please our partner. The hope that today will be bolder, brighter, better – or rather, that we will be so. The hope that if not today, then tomorrow…
Hold onto hope, with both hands and arms grabbing and rigidly locking around it. Don’t let go of hope in the simple, the tiny and the good – no matter what happens, no matter who happens.
Don’t be a clone, a robot or a sheep. Live positively, live individually, live well.
I wanted to walk through a dense, low hedge and scale a fence (also vertically challenged!) to exit a car park, a few days ago. My companion – far younger – forbade me and the moment passed. I had managed, earlier, to sing along and dance to ‘80s music blaring vaguely in a toy shop. An assistant and I shared the humour of the moment and quietly brightened each other’s day.
Harmless eccentricity – all of it – should be encouraged and celebrated. Be who you are. Care to be different; dare to be unique.
Bearing in mind the adages, “The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world” and “Revenge is a dish best served cold”, Prince William’s decision to propel his late mother’s memory into the limelight – for all time – via that ring and that photographer, should be a lesson for us all. Of course, the combined cheering of mothers and first wives, everywhere, sounds almost akin to a suffragette rally!
See what I mean about hope?
Have an eventful, jovial and successful 2011.