Day 954

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Recovery Room is also known as POCU – Post Operative Care Unit. While most patients have a smooth emergence from anaesthesia, others may feel disorientated or confused. They might feel mild pain, nausea or experience other side effects of surgery and anaesthesia.  The calm and caring presence of Recovery nurses helps them smooth over all these turbulences and come back to themselves before being sent to the ward.

K is one such nurse. Her sweet voice and soft Australian accent is unmissable. She smiles all the time. She listens and asks intelligent and relevant questions. She is full of kindness and clever ideas to get around problems. She respects other people’s priorities and time. She is an old soul.

Last Saturday, after work she went out to a pub with friends. She heard some troublesome noises on the street and went out to help. I can picture her excusing herself, ”I’ll just nip out and be back in a sec.” Little did she or her friends know that that would be her last act of kindness. She was killed in the incident near London Bridge that night.

How is it that some people can go out of their way to be vicious and others can show extraordinary kindness at a huge cost to themselves? We all belong to the same race. We all cry the same salty tears and bleed the same red blood. We all feel the same insane love for our kids and the same burning pangs of hunger. Ultimately we all want to be free, to be loved and understood for who we are. Why this deep divide?

Can I imagine K not offering to help? No. That is just the kind of person she was – true to herself till the very end. Bless you K. We love you and miss you. Recovery Room is not the same without you and this world is a better place because of you.

Love and blessings from London to all broken lives and hearts, everywhere.

 

Day 891

Top-notch lawyers, world famous comedians, glamorous musicians, householders, super-talented actors, mental health experts, nurses, educational psychologists, teachers, doctors, secretaries, students, the homeless and ordinary folk like you and me have been lost to suicide or have lost someone they love to it. Sadly, no one is immune.

By definition ‘vigil’ means an act of staying awake especially at night in order to be with a person who is very ill or dying or to make a protest, or to pray.  This will be the third vigil of its kind – an informal gathering of people coming together in a public place, to express love for those who have tragically departed, to cherish their memories, to sing and reflect, to enjoy being in the open on a spring evening with their thoughts and feelings.

Venue: Near the café at Hyde Park, Speaker’s corner. London
(Nearest Tube station: Marble Arch)
Date:  Thursday, 6th April 2017.
Time: 6.30 pm.

Please come along and bring a picture, a song, a memory, a candle, a wish, a blessing, a prayer, a poem, a refection, your silence or tears. Join up with those who understand – Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide (SOBS).
You are not alone.

Ref:
SOBS: http://uk-sobs.org.uk/

Map: https://www.google.co.uk/maps/place/Speakers’+Corner/@51.5118942,-0.1593661,15z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0x9f5b6cc453d910f4!8m2!3d51.5118942!4d-0.1593661

Day 857

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Homeless people are amongst the most vulnerable in our society. The average age of death of a homeless person is 47 years for men and just 43 for women, as compared to 77 for the general female population.

Drugs and alcohol abuse account for just over a third of all deaths. Homeless people are over 9 times more likely to die by suicide than the general population. Other common causes of death are traffic accidents, infections,falls and violence against them. 

Homelessness kills.

Walking around London it is clear that despite significant investment in the NHS and improvements in homelessness services they are not getting the help they need to address their health issues.

Walking around Trafalgar Square, one can’t miss the majestic Georgian church, St Martin-in-the-fields . It is a hospitable, vibrant, open and inclusive, forward thinking community with worship at its heart. The Revd. Dr Sam Wells is full of grace and wisdom. He always speaks to my heart. I look forward to hearing him at the special service being held there on Saturday, the 4th of March for families bereaved by suicide.

This poem by Sir Andrew Motion is a part of an Arts project run by the Church and is inscribed on the balustrade encircling the lightwell in the open space near the church:

Your stepping inwards from the air to earth
Winds round itself to meet the open sky
So vanishing becomes a second birth.
Fare well. Return. Fare well. Return again.
Here home and elsewhere share one mystery.
Here love and conscience sing the same refrain.
Here time leaps up. And strikes eternity.

Sources:

Crisis research from 2011:
http://www.crisis.org.uk/data/files/publications/Homelessness%20-%20a%20silent%20killer.pdf

St Martin-in-the-fields:
http://www.stmartin-in-the-fields.org/

Sir Andrew Motion:
http://www.poetseers.org/contemporary-poets/poet-laureates/andrew-motion/

Day 853

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Today’s date has been in my diary for a few weeks and I have been eagerly looking forward to this day. One of my favourite musicians is performing in town and we have tickets! His name is A R Rahman, the winner of multiple national and international music awards and millions of hearts.

Despite a cold and a cough each, we both travelled for more than an hour to get to the other end of town. It was eerily quiet. I don’t trust myself with any information any more, especially not my memory. The street lights were too dim, like me, to read the date on the tickets. Under the phone torch we found the date to be 24/03/2017.

Well, we still have something exciting to look forward to.

This is one of his Sufi songs:

Kun Faya Kun
(Be. And it is.)

Advance your blessed feet. Appear!
Making the boundaries disappear,
May you fill this void, the abode of your Beloved.
Its empty without you, come fill this void.

O Dyer. We dye in Your colour.

Be, and it is!
When there was nothing, no where,
He was there.

He is the one who is in me,
He is the one in you,
Dear Lord is the one that is a Mystery. All around.
The Sublime, the Magnificent. Reveals the truth.

Colour my heart and my mind with Your colour, the Colour Divine!
In exchange, take all that is mine.

The morning showers its blessings when I adore You,
It purifies this dark night soul of mine.
My spirit’s nourishment comes from Your sanctuary,
O Master, O Beloved…

Be, and it is!
When there was nothing, no where,
He was there.
His Messenger, the Generous Prophet reveals the truth
The blessings and peace of God be upon him.
I pray to you, please free me from the bonds of myself,
Grant me visitation to my true countenance,
Free me from myself.

Carrying vanities of my mind,
burdens of my misdeeds,
Where do I go?
I have no idea!

You live within me, and now,
where have You brought me?

I live in You,
I follow only You,
I am but Your shadow.

You created me,
I did not fit in the world,
But You embraced me,
Only You are the Truth.
Only You are Real.

Be, and it is!

 

Day 805

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A New Year’s Prayer

May God make your year a happy one!
Not be shielding you from all sorrows and pain,
But by strengthening you to bear it as it comes;
Not be making your path easy,
But by making you sturdy to travel any path;
Not by taking hardships from you,
But by taking fear from your heart;
Not by granting you unbroken sunshine,
But by keeping your face bright,
Even in the shadows
Not by making your life always pleasant,
But by showing you
When people and their causes need you most,
And by making you anxious to be there to help.
God’s love, peace, hope and joy to you
For the year ahead.

-Anonymous.