Monday, February 27, 2017

February takes us up . . . and down/MANN


ebruary is often a drab month with little sun and lots of snow. It’s a difficult time for many people. That’s why many Canadians head out for the south or Canada’s west coast. Being the shortest month of the year, it does not always have a full moon. This can make the nights darker then usual. But, this year, February surprised us by serving us a dish of record-breaking sunshine and warm temperatures

It's is also a month that grievers find desolate. Perhaps weather plays into this or the aftermath of Christmas might also be a reason. February is one of the most significant months to define love. It can make people suffer their loss in similar ways as Christmas.

My part in the anthology, ‘Good Grief People’ (Angel Hope Publishing – 2017) marked a February celebration. I acknowledge the sorrow that loss brings. Writing, submitting, revising stories of experiences with the dying might seem depressing. Does it seem like a disheartening topic?

Too sad to talk about? One that fits with February? Maybe!

For me, it was a time of acknowledging this topic as sorrow-filled. Yet, the honesty of writing an account was freeing, converting it into a celebration - a tribute to the dying. I confronted the lack of honesty in cliches often tossed around at funeral homes when people don’t know what else to say. It pokes holes in definitions that had often hindered my participation in conversations. We relate to our loved one's in particular ways during life and when they die we find other ways to honour them, so conversation is important. This is good. Grief can be as elusive as a shadow: First you think you see something and have a handle on it. And then you don’t. This always brings me a smile in spite of tears.

We find different ways to honour people. Funerals, memorial services, hockey arenas to government locations, churches to cemeteries provide opportunity. People say words and play musical instruments from pipe organs to bagpipes to mouth organs. 

My choice in this book was to honour friends from my early years and show gratitude for being apart of their life. I didn’t write about my parents or brother’s death. Each died as they lived. This comforts me and I still draw on it many years later.

Like the surprising week of balmy days in February, my participation in the anthology warmed my heart.

Blessings on this day,
Donna Mann  

Check out  - lots of happy reading for dull winter days.


Peter Black said...

Donna, I was privileged to have had opportunity to read the pre-publication edition of "Good Grief People" and my heart was also warmed by each contribution, including yours (of course!). And, I've attended more funeral visitations and services during the winter months this year than I can recall at any other time - some in which I've participated (I received confirmation today of a another memorial service in which I've to participate). Despite the relatively mild winter in this region, it seems to have been hard on the health of many with compromised health.
The darkness of winter is surely passing and the cheerful brightness of spring is almost here.
Comfort, with grace and peace. ~~+~~

Donna Mann said...

Thank you Peter. "Good Grief People" is a work of love. Glad you enjoyed it. D.

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