Sunday, 18 September 2011

Making Sense.




This is a stinker of a jigsaw, so many shades of murky brown, random splashes of colour, broken fragments, crumpled fragments, uneven surfaces. When it comes together it is a simple picture of the interior of a garden shed. Not unlike mine, although mine is currently tidier.
I'm only doing it so that I can pass it on to someone else, and it's so mean to pass on a jigsaw with bits missing.

The good thing about jisaws is the thinking time they offer; the meditative, rambling sort of time, which is just what I need at the moment.
I've mentioned previously that I have found communication difficult because I seem to have entered a whole new phase of thinking and being - which is absolutely great when you are seventy-one and three quarters!

My life has sometimes been murky brown with crumpled fragments, and sometimes randomly splashed with bright colour. Very often it has been a mixture of both. But recently a strange sort of clarity has emerged.
I am working as a volunteer at 'a local Hospice' and suddenly it feels as if the jigsaw is completed.

There is a complete reality here that I have not experienced in any other place. There is no need of, nor place for pretence. No one has to keep up any sort of appearance for any sort of motivation. The motivation of this remarkable place is contained in its motto, 'Caring for Life', which is exactly what we all do. We can all just be ourselves and enjoy each others' company for as long as possible.
I do lots of different things here. I load and unload the dishwasher very frequently. I make lots of cups of tea and coffee, I hold quite a few hands, I laugh and smile more than I do in most other places. There is a great deal to smile about.

I'm doing some other, more specialised jobs that my previous training has made possible. Then I'm being trained for more. It's impressive when an organisation is willing to put expensive training into someone of seventy-one and three quarters.

Sometimes, obviously, there is sadness. When that happens we are in it together. Always, there is honesty and dignity, and caring for life.
The jigsaw comes together.

11 comments:

Zhoen said...

The sadness is the ground, mixed in with the joy.

Relatively Retiring said...

Zhoen: Absolutely. You understand. You've been there too.

gz said...

Life is a jigsaw.
The pop up shop may be gone, but Court Cupboard will still be open!

Molly said...

Hospice made the end tolerable for both my mother and my mother-in-law. You must certainly be worth whatever they're spending on your training! My hat's off to you for being willing to continue learning. I'd say Hospice counts themselves lucky to have you.

Relatively Retiring said...

gz: Thank you. I'll hope to be there.

Molly: Thank you for the kind comment. Hospice is very often part of the journey, not just the end. This is where the challenge comes in, accompanying people on such a journey. It's the greatest privilege.

herhimnbryn said...

In my previous working life in the uk, I found the Hospice a joyous ( and yes, sometimes sad) place to visit. I wish we had more of them in Oz.

Jenny Woolf said...

I am glad that things are coming together for you. And I am so impressed that you're thoughtful enough to actually do the jigsaw before you give it away. The people you are dealing with must be glad to have you there with them.

Relatively Retiring said...

HHnB: Well, there's a project for you....!
Hospices generally seem to start as a discussion round a kitchen table, and grow from there via a small house purchase into a multi-million pound project with hundreds of volunteers.

Jenny: Thank you for the comment - it's very uncivilised to give an incomplete jigsaw (and symbolic, if you care to see it that way!).

leslee said...

Oh, how wonderful - for you, for them. You know, they could train a younger person who lasts a couple of years and moves on to other things. As you say, the focus is on the now and enjoying and serving for as long as it goes.

Relatively Retiring said...

Leslee: Yes, wonderful is right (also great fun, challenge and hard work in some of the training). And, as you mention in your current posting, very good when older people are not rendered invisible.

Frances said...

I feel such a fool, being unable to decode Zhoen's coment. I can reverse your comments to her, RR, to say: I do not understand. I have not been there.
I am not particularly alarmed by the concept of my death: but dying seems alarming and unattractive, and, if hospices make this less fraught and less unpleasant then more power to them.
I tell my children that I hope that they will be the subject of newspaper articles re the undiscovered old decayed body. And, I do: this is what I wish.