When Kate was 11 years old her mother died. Each year, on the anniversary of her death, she would make plans to mourn her mother. Kate would spend the day being sad, pouring through old photographs and thinking about all the events over the last year her mum had missed out on. She would buy a bunch of roses, her mother’s favourite flower and make her mother’s favourite meal for dinner, pasta carbonara.
Sometimes I wondered if this yearly ritual was a little morbid and unhealthy. One day as Kate was preparing for her annual ritual of grieving, a little insight blossomed in me. The relationship an 11 year old has with her mother is very different to the one she has with her at 25 or 40 years of age. Perhaps this was Kate’s way of mourning the relationship she never got to have with her mother as she matured and grew up.
She allowed herself 1 special day a year to grieve, for the other 364 days she was perfectly cheerful and got on with her life. Seems reasonable really. If I had voiced my concerns, I might have interfered with a process that was perfectly healthy and natural to her.
Now that Kate is married and has a child of her own, she no longer has time to mourn for the whole day but she still buys roses and makes pasta carbonara for dinner. I can see now, that her yearly ritual is actually a beautiful and deeply personal, healing process – not morbid at all. A little insight, sure can go a long way in friendship.
May all beings enjoy friendship!
Photo Credit: Greg Ortega via Unsplash