A Mourning Phase

I am sitting here in my favourite place in Toronto (Mount Pleasant cemetery), in front of my favourite headstone (Jesus washing Peter‘s feet), having just had my favourite breakfast for lunch at my favourite breakfast joint.
It’s a beautiful summer day with blue skies and fluffy clouds, no humidity, sitting under the shade of a tree.
So overall, life is pretty good.
However, having said all of that, things are far from perfect. I just had a 2 1/2 hour appointment with my neurologist, which is an annual thing, with about a bazillion questions just checking in as to how I’m doing. Turns out I’m doing just AOK with a few tweaks here and there. But I’m still stuck in this wheelchair with no real treatments on the horizon. I still can’t sleep in my own bed with my own wife in my own home. I live in a long-term care home, which as far as they go is pretty darn good, but it’s still a long-term care home. So here in this cemetery I have been reflecting on how much loss there has been in my life. I realize I am in a bit of a mourning phase. I just visited my old buddy Rick’s resting place. We had a one-sided chat. I sure miss him. I’m grieving his loss.
I am grieving the loss of my work again.
I’m grieving the loss of my home.
I’m grieving my inability to go back to Newfoundland again and visit people and places that I will never see again, including my father.
I’m grieving the loss of the use of my body. And now that the summer has kicked in full gear, I am seeing pictures of people at their cottage swimming and in canoes and fishing and having fun on the dock. I thought by now that I would have gotten used to that but to be honest I still grieve the very simple pleasure of being able to put on my trunks and go into the lake and swim. This was something I took for granted for so long. So now when I see pictures of people doing that, and yes by all means do that because it is so fun and peaceful, it does push a painful button in me.
As a result I have decided that I should take a summer sabbatical from social media. It is just a constant reminder to me of what I am missing. Facebook does offer me a sense of community, even though it is in cyberspace, but I think it’s time to take a bit of a rest from it for now. You can still feel free to contact me at [email protected]. But I am signing out of Facebook until September.
As I sit here looking at Jesus washing Peter‘s feet, I am trying to imagine what it would be like if that were the case for me. What if Jesus were actually washing my feet?

In my sense of grief and loss and my state of morning, it gives me hope that Jesus actually is washing my feet;
wherever they take me.

2 thoughts on “A Mourning Phase”

  1. Mieke Nicholson

    Thank you for this post/blog Dion Oxford ! It is such a good reminder to live life with an appreciation for all the little things…and BIG things. Don’t take anything for granted. Wishing you peace and hope as you head into the summer. Hugs 💜

  2. Hi Dion.
    Although it sure ain’t the ocean or even a lake, I hope you DO get to go swimming this summer!
    BTW….if you have access to a submersible chair, the newest pool, at Wellesley Community Centre, has a ramp entrance on the (far) side from the locker rooms, and there is an accessible change room space within the larger locker room, that has its own more accessible shower, etc.
    I highly recommend dispatching Erinn or Cate or someone else who knows your current capacities/adaptation needs pretty well, to scout it out for you!!

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