I have excavated the skeletal remains
Of the child I was
Before my childhood was unceremoniously snatched
Before betrayal stole joy and eroded the flesh
Before the burdensome grief of another
Weighed down my shoulders
I look at the remains and remember
that I knew who I was
all those long years ago.
I was a happy carefree child with a sunny disposition
Who played practical jokes
Whited all the sand shoes
Lined dolls up
Made tea on the back verandah
Taught French from dusty texts
Was infused with the magic of treasure hunts
Played in a cubby house
under the shelter of majestic Pussy Willow trees
that lined our back fence.
I remember that I was
the gentle, studious one
steeped in mythos
who loved the library and
her own company
causing barely a ripple to family life
I look at the skeletal remains and ever so carefully
Place them in my saddle bag
to carry and sing over
to bring flesh to
and discover joy, in simple things
all over again.
Heather Blakey 2005
Consider the following
In her book, ‘Caravan of No Despair’, Mirabai Starr tells us that “you cannot succeed in mourning your loved ones. You cannot fail. Nor is grief a malady, like the flu. You will not get over it. You will only come to integrate your loss…”
In the introduction of ‘Women Who Run With The Wolves’ Clarissa Pinkola Estes introduces the notion of Singing Over The Bones. Later in the book she presents the idea of Descansos and talks about descansos being symbols that mark a death, not just of loved ones but of hopes, dreams and potentialities. She shows her clients how to look at their lives and mark where the small and big deaths have taken place.
Watch this video featuring Dr Kim Bateman and consider ways of singing over the bones of small and bigger losses.