This One's from the Heart

This One's from the Heart

As a woman in midlife, I am grateful for the feeling of finally stepping into my own power, but for many of us this is a gift that is gained through life’s challenges and loss. I feel compelled to write this blog post because this is the stuff of life. It can be beautiful and it can hurt and if we as women together can’t say this stuff out loud, then how are we caring for each other?

As a woman running this small business dedicated to helping other women, I have been quiet of late. I haven't been greasing the wheels of commerce with offers, and ads and posts and newsletters. I haven't made out that life is all shiny and picture perfect, because its been challenging, and loss has been great.

Last week my beloved stepson Sam died. One minute he was a fit man in his prime, a father to four beautiful boys and looking forward to a life unfolding with his partner Sophie; and then within six months of a cancer diagnosis he was gone.

Sam was creative and funny and caring. He loved connecting with people. He was just a gorgeous human being. He leaves behind so many people who love him dearly. He worked for the Auckland City Mission and his role was to develop a sense of community for the residents and staff at the Mission’s Homeground centre. After his funeral this week, I spoke with many of the residents there and they said things like, “Sam helped me find my light again” and "Sam was the glue that has brought us all together". There is a tribute to Sam from his partner and the City Mission on the NZ Stuff media website here.

Somehow in all the grief of losing someone we love, we have to navigate a new normal. We too have to find our light again. And community can help us with this.

We too have to find our light again.

Yesterday as I stood in the checkout queue at the local supermarket I looked at the women around me. Women with lines on their faces, women with the sass of youth, women with greying hair and sparkling eyes, grandmothers with young children in tow, and the women walking with a stick. I thought about how there I was in the queue, thinking about the heartbreak of my husband and Sam's mum outliving their own son, and I wondered about all the other losses and griefs in the lives of these women around me. This gentle observation of others filled me with a huge sense of compassion and connection. I felt in community with these women, these strangers, even without knowing their stories. And there was a comfort in that.

The thing is, I think that life beyond menopause does bring a power with it, and by golly we need it; and I think that compassion can be a superpower that grows with age. 

A homemade pie given by a neighbour is so much more than simply a meal.

Those women in the supermarket, my family, the community at Homeground, all the people who also love all the people we have lost…. well, they show me that midlife and beyond, actually life fullstop, is an invitation to deepen compassion, to be kind to others, to enjoy moments that may one day become memories. They show me that it’s OK not to be strong all the time. That a homemade pie given by a neighbour is so much more than simply a meal. They get me thinking about what really matters in life, and that perhaps what that means is that doing less is more precious than the relentless pressure to do more.

I don’t know the grief and loss you carry, or the gifts that inhabit you too, but as one woman navigating life to another, I hope your light may shine brightly. And this afternoon, in the peaceful quiet of my apothecary, I will try to navigate this new normal by making more pots of NatFem goodness. This act can, at times, be like a meditation, and I'll be sure to fill each pot with an extra big serving of love.


Georgina xx

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8 comments

Dearest Georgina, sincerest condolence’s on the sad passing of your beautiful stepson. Take comfort he’s safely in Gods arms & care. From our collective hearts to your’s & your family’s. With Love

Denise

Lots of Love to you and your lovely husband Georgina – so sorry for your loss, Linda xxx

Linda

You write beautifully from the soul Georgina. Every word you say is true and very thought provoking for us all.
Thank you for sharing and thinking of you. ❤️

Mary-Anne

Georgina, I am so truly sorry for the loss of Sam. My heart goes out to you and family. Keep the memories close, keep writing and doing all the good that you do xo

Jackie

I remember a similar experience after my life partner died after a short cancer illness, of watching older couples walking arm in arm and feeling a sense of incredulity that life went on for them and others in the world – how could such a catastrophe as I was experiencing not be impacting everyone? A bizarre effect of shock perhaps

Kay

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