What would you say to a loved one, now long gone?

Ground_Zero_Memorial_5-1-11In my last post, shouldn’t  “named day” be every day-Just a thought I mentioned, in passing, that I wished that mine was still around.

That I thought was that, but upon reading the post my wife quietly asked me what I would like to say to him if he were still around

I freely admit that I had no answer for a few minutes, but then one or two thoughts crossed my mind. To begin with a short series of messages came to ny mid that I would love to pass on to him; and these can be seen below, but then deeper questions arose within my mind.

  1. Is it wise to think about such things
  2. As life inexorably moves forwards is it wise to look backwards, and
  3. If you could pass on such messages, what might be the reply

So, first of all,

Dad can you hear me?

Dad can you hear me?

What would I say to my father.

Well, I reckon the following would be true

  1. Thank you for bringing me up to the best of your ability
  2. Thank you for passing on all that you knew about life
  3. Thank you for instilling within myself and my brother a code of decency that has served me well to this day
  4. You were right to say that any man or woman should be treated as a Gentleman or a Lady until they prove themselves otherwise
  5. Men and women can be just good friends
  6. I still share your love of the music of Mozart and Beethoven but I still shudder at the thought of cold mutton
  7. I wish you had been present when I got married, and heard my wedding speech
  8. I still laugh when I recall you doing a solo fox-trot to  the song –All by yourself in the Moonlight, but I won’t repeat what you passed on about two cockerels in a backyard!
  9. Thank you for being you and,possibly the most important message of all
  10. I wish that I could have said all of these things when you were still alive

Therein lies the catch, as , due to a tragic accident when he came over to the Isle of man on holiday, I never got to say such words, but maybe now, if he can see or hear me, I can pass on such words.

Onto the bigger questions within this post.

Hmmm...if only

Hmmm…if only

Is it wise to think about such things

Why not, would be my answer, but not to the extent that it controls your life both now and over the years to come. If anyone tells me that they have said everything they wanted to say to a loved one who has passed over. then I think they are either deluded or a fool, for is there ever enough time to say everything that we want to say

I think not, and when my mother and eventually my wife pass onwards I am sure there will still be plenty of things to say

The trick, in my mind, is to use such thoughts in a positive fashion, so as to show to the departed that, if they can hear you, that all their efforts have not been in vain.

Conversely positives can be drawn from the most negative situations, look at the quote below

“Pain is a pesky part of being human, I’ve learned it feels like a stab wound to the heart, something I wish we could all do without, in our lives here. Pain is a sudden hurt that can’t be escaped. But then I have also learned that because of pain, I can feel the beauty, tenderness, and freedom of healing. Pain feels like a fast stab wound to the heart. But then healing feels like the wind against your face when you are spreading your wings and flying through the air! We may not have wings growing out of our backs, but healing is the closest thing that will give us that wind against our faces.”


Sometimes we have nothing but loathing for certain individuals, and it is very hard to accept what has occurred while they have been alive, but what good does it do to brood on such things. They are dead, we are living, and through a constructive life we can show them how failed in their unpleasant ambitions, and that they were so wrong.

A good example would be how I felt about three bullies who nearly destroyed me mentally over the course of three long school years. For many years I wanted to verbally and psychologically destroy them, but they could not hear me, they could not read my thoughts, and, like me, I am sure they have gone on to build a life, and I  hope a decent non bullying life, of their own

Does that mean they have left mark, or that such dark days have been forgotten. Certainly not, and their treatment was a contributory fact to further personal problems over the next few years; but I have learnt so much from that time period, and from what subsequently occurred. Sure there are still dark days, and dark thoughts to contend with, but such threads are intertwined with toughness, sensitivity, understanding, and empathy with others who have suffered; and such values have made me into the decent husband (I hope), short story writer, and blogger that I am today

 Quentin_Massys-_Erasmus_of_RotterdamIs it wise to look backwards,

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

George Santayana 1863-1952

Hands up all those who have heard of this quote before, but does it go far enough?

In my view the answer is no; Sorry George, for to my mind remembrance is not the end of the story. We can remember all we want, we can hold candle light vigils, see the featured post picture, and we can praise, or curse them, as the case may be; but if we fail to learn any lessons from such acts of remembrance or reconstructions from history, then what is the point of just going back there over and over again?

I’m all for looking back the past, or recalling an individual love, character, or virtue, but if we stop there then history will repeat itself, and all the work and affection we have had for a loved one will be thrown away to one side.

Use it or lose it, is  a phrase often used in the fields of erectile dysfunction and cognitive degeneration in old age, but such a phrase applies just as well here.

By all means let’s go back and look at the past. Let’s go back and look at the good and bad things we humans have done in the name of progress etc; but when we stumble or alight upon an incident or period where there was little else to show but cruelty, stupidity, or misery, wouldn’t it be wiser to learn from such a period. Wouldn’t it be better to learn from our mistakes and look forward, rather than wallowing in the past and then watching the whole damn thing unfold again?

and the reply came back as......who knows

and the reply came back as……who knows

If you could pass on such messages, what might be the reply

IF there were dreams to sell,

What would you buy?

Some cost a passing bell;

Some a light sigh,

That shakes from Life’s fresh crown

Only a rose-leaf down.

If there were dreams to sell

,Merry and sad to tell,

And the crier rang the bell,

What would you buy?

Dream Pedlary byThomas Lovell Beddoes 1803-1848

These, in my mind, beautiful words, were penned by Thomas Lovell Beddoes, who sadly committed suicide at the age of 45. They are in a mystical poem called Dream Pedlary, and I can only hope that he eventually found at least some of the answers that he so desperately craved

I suspect we all seek such answers, just as I suspect we never really expect to receive them, but this is where I pass the baton over to you as the reader or viewer.

If you were able to pass on any messages, what do you think might come back as a reply? Any messages, any comments, or any views?

That’s all for this post folks, just a few thoughts and a few personal comments to a long dead, but still much respected old fashioned natural Gentleman who I wish I had known better, but why not end, as is my custom, with a video. I can think of no better one on this occasion than Leonard Cohen and the song Hallelujah.

I have no faith or belief in any great deity, but I reckon this song kind of strikes a resounding chord.


Categories: Just a thought

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

2 replies

  1. This post will stick with me for so many reasons. What I would say or ask of those I’ve known, loved and lost changes from year to year as do my feelings. Then again somethings don’t change. Thanks for sharing.


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