This morning when ordering a take-away coffee, I ask the barista how he is doing? With a big beaming smile, he shares that last night he proposed to his girlfriend.
Touched by the beauty of his delight, instantly my eyes fill with tears. We laugh at my response and unperturbed he goes on to tell me the details of the proposal, as well as his desire to marry with all of his family present, including his elderly grandfather.
Over the last 6 months, I have come to know this gentle man, as he has made me coffee every other morning. We know each other’s names and he knows how I like my latte. What he doesn’t know, is that on this day, I have just learned that a close relative is dying, and I am feeling the power of immanent loss.
At this realization, the tears no longer just fill my eyes, but spill over to my cheeks, and I allow myself to feel the mix of love and loss in their fullness.
I note the significance of this moment, like joining the dots…and begin to wonder about the celebrations of life, the birthdays, the coming of age ceremonies, the rituals of the seasons, the religious ceremonies, all the coming together and witnessing of one another as we travel through life, perhaps being simply markers, like marks on a wall, or the growth rings of tress, all being marks of time, marks of life, preparing us to witness and to have the wisdom to be with the greatest mark of all…the mark of death.
As the barista hands me my coffee, I enjoy the private moment of connection. Allowing my body to feel the beauty of the marks of life, I step out into the spring morning.
(Trained as a whole-body focussing oriented therapist, Sarah Sacks is an experienced counsellor, who specialises in working in supporting people through periods of transition, especially around issues of grief and loss.)
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