Pauline says that when she was in Dublin yesterday she kept expecting to see Sean. She says she doesn’t know whether she has fully accepted that he’s gone.
She still thinks of him all the time, and so do I. When I went to the supermarket today it was so easy to picture him walking beside me, to hear his voice, to imagine what he might be saying. The fact that he has died still seems unreal and unbelievable; there is a strong sense that he has not gone away at all. ‘The soul is surely not where it is, but where it loves’, Friedrich Schelling wrote. As I wrote myself in a song, ‘Hope is the cure for the heartache we feel/Hope that life is unending and death is unreal.’
Yesterday I went through old posts on his Facebook page – he uploaded the photo I now use as my avatar on 17 October 2009, exactly a year before he died (although it was taken long before that).
18 responses to “26 November 2011”
Hi there it was heartbreaking but beautifully hopeful to read what you wrote.
Hi Aedín … many thanks for the comment. Hope you’re well.
Brendano, I am glad Aedin has written that. It is hard for me to find any words to say … I never met Sean, never heard him, never saw him, yet you have put his heart-beat into this blog and in doing so have revealed your own. In an odd way I kind of miss Sean too, as if I did really know him; as if he was a mate. It is quite easy for me to kid myself – you have made it easy for readers to like Sean. Sean liked people, Sean loved people. That’s it. I can understand how these moments of expectancy come to yourself and Pauline. I think that is normal, well at least in my view it is. Why should it not be so?
And that moment of expectancy, or feeling, must be a good thing. I remember at school, an art teacher teaching us not to look at two cups together but to draw the outline of the shape in between the two cups. So I think Sean is the shape in between things – he is still the main connection, and he always will be.
I do like the Schelling quote. And I am sorry if I have rambled a bit.
Thanks for another kind comment, PapaG … Pauline likes it, and so do I. Sean as ‘the shape in between things’ is very apt and a good description of where we find ourselves at present. That is what he is.
You are welcome to ramble here anytime. 🙂
Good evening Brendano and other friends. It seems to me that the feeling of expectancy Pauline felt in Dublin is one of the manifestations of hope, and, in this context, a deeply spiritual feeling. I certainly believe that death is unreal and that there is unending life. Love is what brings us these feelings from deep within in the darkest times, and that is why love is the greatest power of all. I believe that Love is Truth.
I very much like the words of the art teacher that Papaguinea relays here. I was looking at the palisade and thinking about those words. Without the shapes between the pieces of wood, we would not be able to see the children’s clothes and bodies behind the fence so well.
The building is very interesting. Is it an old Irish building? What is the history behind it?
Good evening Cymbeline … thanks for this. I agree with you about love. I thought of this when I saw a grandmother greet her grandchild in the supermarket today. Interesting point about the palisade too.
It’s actually a new building (at Dublin Zoo), but I think it’s based on an old Irish form, i.e. the crannóg. Sean once photographed the site of a crannog … a small island on our local lake.
I am sure I wrote ‘palissade’. French interference. Thank you for correcting me, if that is in fact what you did.
I see that there are over 1,200 known crannog sites in Ireland but only one in Wales. According to what I have just read, it is on Llyn Syfaddon and was probably built by people who went there from Ireland. Wouldn’t it be interesting to be able to meet and talk to the people of those distant times?
You speak about the supermarket again. I often think about how the deepest of feelings can be experienced in the most apparently mundane places. Places are often just incidental décor.
All part of the service, Cymbeline (well, sometimes). 🙂
About meeting people from distant times – Dave (Pauline’s brother) and I were saying the same thing recently, when we went to the Lough Crew cairn I’ve mentioned before. People transported huge boulders long distances to place them on top of a hill, 5,000 years ago.
I like to go to the supermarket, and I like the one I go to (eschewing a closer one). When driving there I remember the times I drove the route with Sean. I generally see someone I know in the supermarket, and am quite friendly with some of the staff by now. It’s a good place to observe the human ebb and flow … I suppose market places have been important nexuses for thousands of years, and are part of what we are.
Yes, you have written about that drive to the supermarket before. An anti-clockwise drive around the lake, if I recall. There is a photograph of Sean standing in front of this supermarket in his school uniform. For obvious reasons, this place is not incidental decor to you.
Your memory is as good as ever. Yes, anticlockwise. Certainly not incidental decor … somewhere to buy Sean a muffin or a couple of cans of cider. Somewhere to meet him and drive him home.
Looking back through old blog posts … on 10 November last year I wrote ‘just taking him to the supermarket and buying him a muffin was good enough for me’.
I know without knowing and I weep for your sorrow.
Hopeful thoughts and bright words from strangers such as I are not enough. There are lonely battles that cannot be shared.
I have to go to bed now.
I suppose we all have our own lonely battles, Cymbeline. Look at Gary Speed.
Goodnight, and thank you.
You are a wonderful man.
Hello Brendan and all,
I would like to send a virtual hug for both of you. I believe our souls are set for eternity which is why they cannot acknowledge death or parting.
Three weeks ago, while reading this (of course in Turkish) I thought of you a lot, and prayed for you.
Not exactly your cup of tea but anyway:
Hello Levent – good to see you. I hope you’re well. Your prayers are very much appreciated.
I looked at the link, but it seemed to refer to children only, and I don’t think of Sean as a child (or particularly like the idea of an ‘eternal child’).
Beautiful photo and a beautiful blog to match.
Thanks very much, Shermeen. We are lucky to have so many good photos of old times, mainly thanks to Pauline. It’s always nice to look at them.