Archive for May, 2016

This tricky thing called death

JCforGGBlogMy friend Jonathan Cainer died suddenly just the other day.

I am bereft, gutted, shocked and sad. I’m also surprised at the depth of my feelings given that I have spent many months learning about grief and recovering from its shattering impact on my life when my husband Mark died after a short illness.

I am also a coach and guide others to discover the good and positive aspects of the death of their loved one. Nothing in this world has only one side and this includes grief.

Jonathan became a friend when my hubby and I were in India way back in the 1990s. We were in the travel business at the time and organising a huge group of people from all over the world who were attending a massive event at an ashram in Delhi. We had attendees in different hotels all over the city and we needed “bus captains” to take care of each hotel group and to make sure that they didn’t miss the bus going to and from the ashram. So we searched through the passenger lists to see if we recognised any names. Bingo! We saw Jonathan’s name, we only knew him from his newspaper column, and thought it would be fun to ask him. He accepted with a huge and generous heart and took to his volunteering role with passion. No one ever missed his bus!

Since that chance connection my husband Mark went on to work closely with Jonathan for many, many years. They worked well together and gradually Jonathan’s work spread even further around the world. He wasn’t just a business partner he was a great friend too. We traveled all over the world together doing various interesting projects for charity. I remember being with him in Australia, Barcelona, Miami Beach, Long Beach, Delhi and Kathmandu. There are probably more places that I can’t remember. In fact the last time I saw Jonathan was at Stone Henge at the Summer Solstice Celebration in 2013 with the Gorsedd of Cor Gawr just after Mark had died. We had a wonderful time and he encouraged me to read aloud in the stone circle a piece of poetry Mark had written. So I did. Afterwards we went to have breakfast and talked about Mark and life and death and so much more.

So in the space of three short years two men who have influenced my life in so many different ways are gone from this physical world. What I realised yesterday was that when someone we love dies it alters our reality simply because they are no longer there. How easily we adjust to this change is the challenge. Mark’s death was massive because we shared everything and adapting to that change has taken a long time. Jonathan’s death is different because he was simply in the background of my life. I no longer needed to speak to him we just exchanged the occasional email. But the fact is he was always there. A big presence, someone I could, if I needed to, talk to or ask for guidance and help. Not that I ever did, but I just knew that I could and that was a positive thing for me.

Therefore it will take some time to get used to this new alteration to my reality. Can I coach myself? Probably not but when the dust has settled I will be taking a closer look at what is good and what is positive about Jonathan Cainer’s death.

Thank you for all you brought to my life Jonathan. As you said at Mark’s funeral in your own inimitable style: “Put the kettle on we’ll all be along in a bit…” 🙂


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