Despite all loyalty and commitment to my Thursday thoughts, lately I’ve found (read: it was pointed out) my in-between blogging etiquette has been poor. Believe me when I say I keep a working list of posts, features, and ideas I’d love to nurture into full thoughts and paragraphs. All that’s missing is the ever-elusive time.
For example: I began a thirty-hour intensive volunteer training course in September for Prairie Hospice Society, and I’m actually pretty bothered at the fact I haven’t shared this with all of you. Saskatoon is one of the last Canadian urban centres to welcome an out-patient hospice organization and I am thrilled to be a part of the first round of volunteers who will be out on the “front line” making a meaningful difference for those who are approaching end of life.
Tonight’s session focused on how the family of a hospice patient – as a system, an organism, and a valuable therapeutic unit – has a dynamic and complex impact on the experience of life and the journey towards death.
(Sorry, I guess this is pretty heavy stuff for 11:00PM on a Monday night…)
The session itself was, in fact, uplifting. What I really love about this training is how it is broken down into digestible parcels of information. Even though it is difficult to teach to common sense and good judgment, our facilitators have done an incredible job at embedding death and dying into such a rich, colourful context. I’m sure many of you will raise an eyebrow at my use of the word “colourful” (and if you’re American, you’re wondering where that ‘u’ came from), but over the course of my life I’ve come to understand death as a part of life and not an opposing force.
As the session came to a close, we were asked to bring a linking object to this Saturday’s session on Communication.
So… what’s a linking object?
Essentially, this is any physical, tangible thing that connects you to someone you’ve loved and lost. It can be a car, a cat, a photograph… or, where my my turned immediately: a pen. I can’t link this particular object to one particular passing, but it is my universal coping mechanism and an integral part of my grieving process.
I think it is timely and appropriate to direct you to my friend and fellow writer Jennelle’s own linking object: her blog Afterwards. Girl’s got talent! She writes with such polished ease about the unexpected loss of her mother and (successfully!) gives water wings to those drowning in despair.
Jennelle – one day I will be half the writer you are, but until then… don’t you dare put your pen down!
For those of you who feel comfortable sharing, I invite you to speak to your own linking objects and how you bridge this life to the next.