Dancing with Death

Regan O'Callaghan Death, Dancing with Death, oil painting, koru,Dancing with Death is part of my Koru series.  It's title might appear dark and gruesome but it is not intended. Death is a fact of life.  We will all die someday. Life is about death.

I like the The Day of the Dead festival in Mexico as an example of a way to cope with death and loss. Bereaved families will gather around gravestones and will celebrate and have a picnic in memory of their beloveds. Shrines will be set up in family homes and the deceased‚ favourite food will be placed there.

In the U.K where I am a priest people will commemorate the dead on All Souls Day.  Candles will be lit and the names of the departed will be read out. It is a moving service.

Sometimes though I do wonder if we allow enough space and time for grieving?  One never gets over a death of a loved one but rather in time learns to live with their loss. In a busy world people can be expected to be back to normal after a death within a few weeks! Yet grief comes in waves spaced out sometimes over years.  Some days the tide is out and the bereaved feel they can breathe, all is calm. Then the tide comes in and it arrives with huge crashing waves that threaten to overwhelm. People think they are going to drown. Eventually the tide will go out again and the overwhelming feelings of loss will settle down for the time being.  It is here maybe that grieving people need a quiet bay to shelter in and rest and to find a creative way of expressing their loss without having to wait for a formal expression or date on the calender