Last Wednesday was the anniversary of my Dads death. He died when I was 12, and while this feels like a lifetime ago, there are things that surround me all the time that remind me of him. Seemingly ordinary objects have significance because of a memory attached to it.
When I see ripe raspberry lollies it reminds of the time that I used to ‘steal’ them from him as he had them in a jar beside his bed, or when I see those ‘gpne fishin’ signs it reminds of summers spent at the beach…the list goes on . My brother referred this very thing this morning at a breakfast for my Mums birthday when my niece mentioned about him using so much worcestershire sauce – he reflected that this something that my dad loved to drench his meals with, it connected to memories of Dad and also gave my niece and nephew a sense of their grandfather.
I barely remember my Dad, but it’s really important to me that I have these snapshots in my mind that are triggered from symbolic items. This has a parallel to art therapy– it’s the meaning associated with the image (or items) that bears significance rather than the art itself.
It is like when you hear a song and take you back to a moment in time. It can recall experiences that are reminiscent or celebratory in nature. It is the experience of when you heard the song that evokes emotion of all varieties.
The song for Ignite Life this week is Amazing Grace. I can’t really remember but seem to have it in my mind that this song was played at my Dads funeral. Regardless of whether it was or not, it takes me back to that time. This song reminds of the fragility of life and also the sense of faith that my family had during his illness. When I hear this I always think if him, it is a very soulful hymn that gives me time to recognise my own connection to Dad.
It would be fantastic if this week we could all take some time to notice symbols around us. The ones that connect us to someone and the experiences that we have had with them. This can be your wedding song, the tune playing when your child was born, that song at a concert when you met the love of your life. Take a minute to remember those moments and reflect on the significance for you. This doesn’t only have to be about songs, these symbolic reminders can be in nature, in food, a place or in a special item.
Feel free to share your reflections and don’t hesitate to be in touch if you feel like you need some assistance to navigate these memories.