Compassionate Communities – Time in our life – Spring

February 13th 2022


Compassionate Communities are inviting you to the Pear Tree to talk and walk around the ideas of love and life and end of life. It’s Spring, Saint Brigid’s day, the time the earth begins to warm up, snowdrops break through, the wheel turns, we’re coming out of our winter hibernation. It is the time to begin the talking, writing, drawing, time to turn our mind.

‘I wish I knew what they wanted’. The end of life affects all of us. At the moment the way we deal with our ends leads to increased suffering. People are having treatments they don’t want, people are dieing alone, being over treated in hospital, community aside. Its not an easy bridge to cross.
This conversation is more about life, than the moment of death
Can we change how we live and die? Bold new models of compassionate community in action are happening.
Let’s begin the conversation.

Sunday February 13th at The Pear Tree 11.00 to 14.00 including soup

We gathered for our first workshop in this year long event, a new gathering of people, on a Sunday.

We opened by ‘dusting off the dust from the road, and saying a bit about why we were here and our hopes. What brings you here today was the question:
Hopes and responsibilities for end of life, mine and others
Having a chance to talk
Continuing a conversation exchanged with families but this time with strangers and community
Normalising something not always easy to talk about
Difficulty of talking to a loved one with cancer.
Particular difficult of men talking
Living alone, uncertainty and fear of the future, of future illness or care needs
The missing of friends who have gone, friends who made up who we are
Sharing with my son
Celebration of a life, not the usual sad funeral
Practical before I go list
The shock which overwhelms, difficulty of talking to others, not wanting to, so found myself writing letters to the loved one who died.
Difficulty of throwing away memories like letters, momentos,
When you know you’re dying – what and who do you want around you. For example people crafting beside you, without you having to host them.
A desire for a willow chair to hold my form, and take me where I want to go.
Aware of my age, and stage in life.

Mell introduced us to the Life in our Time book, and invited us to start one, a book to collect together into it’s basket, both a celebration of our life, and some practical guidance as to what we would like to happen on the event of our death. A fabulous array of paints, crayons, charcoal, pens and quills was available for us to being our books. As we enjoyed a sweet potatoe soup with Penny Bun bread.

The goddess Brigid, celebrated at this time of year, Imbolc, is the goddess of poetry, wisdom and healing, and blacksmithing and domestic animals. Rachel read us a few lines from TS Elliot’s The Wasteland, reminding us that spring was not always the great expansive blossoming time of year, but also painful, ‘mixing memory and desire’.

April is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.
Winter kept us warm, covering
Earth in forgetful snow, feeding
A little life with dried tubers.

It is the time of year for making vows in the seedbed of dark and quickening light. Gathering around the fire.