nebraska: There are times when words have their limitations and this is one of them, for me. But what a dreadful thing to have happen for your daughter.
To come to the comment about witnessing, I think it is important to bear witness, and not just at the time of passing, but also in the rites that follow.
Liz, I think you are right about the bench moments standing out in our memories. I once took off to Italy on the spur of the moment. I stayed on Lake Garda and spent 10 days sitting on benches, pretty much, staring at the stunning views and contemplating. It wasn't a fun holiday. In fact, it wasn't a holiday at all. More like a withdrawal for a time. While I was there, I got on with some healing, which I needed. When I returned home, I was able to connect with the old me that had been missing for a while.
When I think of benches here at home, I think of those I so often see in parks, woods and on hills that have dedications on them: In Loving Memory of X, Who So Loved This Spot, etc. They are epitaphs in their own right. I sit and gaze at the views and think of the person who was there before me. I don't watch people on benches. The gaze is much more an inner one. But the place that I find especially spiritual is in the sea. I love to go swimming and float in it - but not in British waters. They are far too cold for me. Whenever I go somewhere warm, I like to swim out and gaze at the shore and the sky and I get a whole different perspective. I guess that I too feel at those times that I am detached from reality. I feel in a way that it is a kind of purification for me, washing away the detritus from my life and emerging out of the water renewed.
by Laurent Graff
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