Last Tuesday I led an hour of light-hearted debate of the Chicken and Egg conundrum using the medium of running. There was lots of laughter for us all and many positive comments despite working far harder than a steady state run. Concluding, I announced to my running group “Sorry no session week, I’m at my Brother David’s funeral”. Silence.
My Brother David is finally free of a painful long-term illness. I have been asked to speak at the funeral on behalf of my siblings as none feel capable, what makes my grief any less than theirs or am I just emotionally stronger?
Neither, death was something my parents shielded me from so much that I developed a fear of it including full on nightmares. Grandmother, Aunts and Uncles departed and me I never went to any funeral. My first real experience wasn’t until I was 23 just 3-weeks after I got married, October 1986. My Mothers. The news was broken to me by my Brother David and the grief was shattering. I very quickly became forlorn.
I’m guessing but this was possibly my first episode of depression and had no clue as to what was dragging me down or how to deal with it. Newly married and financially strained I did the man thing of working hard and withdrew. Never considered for a moment talking, going to the Doctors or seeking support. I tried drinking but being a confirmed lightweight it made things worse; at least a cheap experiment. My only solace came from lifting weights at the gym but had no notion why it made me feel better. It took me almost 3-years to recover, not sure if my first marriage ever did.
Now 57 you get plenty of time to acclimatise to death, no longer am I afraid. Sadness but not grief, respectful in remembrance of some good people often taken far too young. Listening or delivering eulogies for friends and my Dad came the realisation of what is important. At every opportunity create profound memories of those who are close to or inspire you. It will make them and you immortal.
17-years my senior David was the last to fledge whilst I was very young. Growing up as a sort of “only child” I am used to not being with any of my brothers and sisters. Random sparks often ignite memories of precious our times together. I have some very obscure triggers for David; Cutty Sark, Led Zeppelin, witches familiars, Silver living human statues to name just a few. Already missing my generous, intelligent, sincere Brother I will not succumb to that devastating emotion of emptiness felt whilst grieving for my Mum. I will miss David’s wise counsel but comforted in the knowledge that he will pop up in my thoughts, especially out on long solitary runs; he can never be lost to me.
At Goodwood Racecourse (On loan) there is a sculpture by Zadok Ben-David. It depicts what looks like a runner preparing to race. It is more than half solid (Depending on how you are feeling at the time) and has a number of characters silhouetted against the landscape. It reminded me of the power of #runandtalk and just how important running groups can be in our sometimes veiled tribulations.
For my brother David Rawson 28 Aug 1944 – 1 Sep 18
Next time: I’m not sure yet but I will be inspired during the month, perhaps melancholy. Until then I leave you with quote by Og Mandino “Beginning today, treat everyone you meet as if they were going to be dead by midnight. Extend to them all the care, kindness and understanding you can muster, and do it with no thought of any reward. Your life will never be the same again”.
Trevor Rawson is a self-employed Health Coach enjoying life in Norfolk. He has lots of bits of paper, awards and accolades. More importantly he uses his broad range of experience to support people towards improving their mental and physical health by activity and nutrition. Having used his own methodology to overcome General Anxiety Disorder and Depression he is pleased to share his unique story.