In many ways July and August are the heart of the year, filled with the fullness of life. But while life is bursting with joy and fullness for some, there are always those who are struggling in the bleakness of winter.
This month we lost one of our beloved writers, Howard Savage. The news hit close to home as I lost my mother in a fatal car accident only two days earlier. (For those of you still wondering, my parents are Aden and Shirley Bowman.) Ironically, our book review this month is a new book by several local authors on grief.
Grief is a difficult thing and is different for everyone. One of the harsh realities is that as much as the world stands still when you personally are in shock and grief, it also continues to move on.
The theme of this magazine is Canada’s 150th birthday. Birthdays are happy times marking the most incredible events of all – birth. By the time this magazine is in your hands, I will also be celebrating the birth of a niece or nephew.
So life and death stand beside each other in stark contrast, yet part of the same continuum. It is often death that helps us live our lives better. It makes us stop and think. I never had the opportunity to meet Howard, but he inspires me as I write and put together this magazine.
Strangers and friends have shared their ponderings on life following Mom’s death, wondering when they die if people will say the things about them that they do about Mom. They talk about embracing the moment now and living in a way that positively affects others. As the oldest daughter of my mother, I ponder the same things, but with the added desire to live up to the legacy she left, to be someone and do things she would be proud of.
Even in celebrating the birth of a country, life and death are often beside each other. We are fortunate that the birth of Canada came about peacefully. Many times war and death are behind the victorious celebration of the freedom of a new country. Still we’ve been involved in war, which includes death and also causes us to think about who we are as a country and what we stand for.
So while life stops and we think about what’s really important, it also moves on and gives us opportunity to act on those things. In the midst of grief, it gives us a reason to celebrate.
Stop for a moment and contemplate the deep things of life, then go out and celebrate it!