The Circle of Life

When I woke up on Sunday morning my Mum told me that my step-Dad had just found out his father had died a few hours ago. It was totally expected and not a shock, but still incredibly sad for my step-dad and his Mother nonetheless.

A couple of hours later we gathered with our extended family at Mum's church for the baptism of Zee.
Zee after her baptism
Last night, as we were leaving Mum's after a full day of baptism celebration, my Mum received a text letting her know that a couple from church had just had their first baby less than 2 hours ago.

The Circle of Life.

Never has it been more starkly illustrated to me than yesterday. In fact the circle of life has been very clearly shown to me since October last year.

At the same time as I fell pregnant with Zee, my Aunty J was diagnosed with terminal cancer.

While visiting Aunty J for the last time Uncle S told us he'd been given 6 months to live. 6 months was being generous. As I sat there with the dying I could feel my unborn baby kicking away inside me.

Aunty J passed away in April. On the day of my cousin's wedding.

My uncle S's first grandchild was born the day before my birthday in June. She had her blessing day on Father's Day. It was my cousin M's first Father's Day as a father, and Uncle S's last.
Uncle S passed away the morning of my Uncle I's 60th birthday party.
Uncle S's last Father's Day
The promise of new life came with the promise of death.

The celebration of a new marriage came with the untimely end of another marriage through death.

The joy of a first Father's Day for one man, tempered by the sadness of a last Father's Day for another.

The ending of one life coinciding with the celebration of the continued life of another.

One person received the promise of baptism on the day that another went on to realise that promise in heaven.

And a new life was born in to the world.
So thankful Uncle S got to meet Zee before he died
I feel like the last 18 months has really made me wake up and pay attention to life. Being a new mum, with the struggles that brings, made it so easy to wish away the days to a time when life might be easier.

There have been times when I've been so angry at the unfairness of life and the cruel taking away of the people I love. But I've been blessed with the creation and arrival of a new life. And while that new life doesn't automatically take away the grief of losing people, it does help to soften it and make it more bearable.

While we had originally planned to have Zee a little later than we did, I think she came along at just the right time, exactly when she was meant to. She was a blessing sent to remind us of the circle of life, to help ease some of the grief we've been sent this year. While we lost two beloved members of our family, we gained two more who will, God willing, bring many more years of joy to all our lives.
I couldn't title a post The Circle of Life without at least one reference to The Lion King now could I, no matter how serious the post. Coincidentally, we actually watched this movie on Saturday afternoon at Mum's with Punky
When people die, especially those we love and are close to, it's easy to forget in our grief that life goes on. That the death of one person is offset by the birth of another, and it's true of everything in life.

I've had a lot of powerful reminders lately of the circle of life and I'm trying to grasp the lessons it's teaching me.

The biggest one being to embrace my life and give it everything I've got. To not wish it away. To make the most of every day I've got. To find new ways each day to laugh and love fiercely.

What has the circle of life been trying to teach you lately?

Linking up each Tuesday with Essentially Jess for IBOT


Kylie Purtell said…
Beautiful post. Hugs xx
Kylie Purtell said…
So beautifully expressed. And the gorgeous photo of Zee after her baptism is just full of the promise of new life.
Kylie Purtell said…
Kylie, you've just ruined my makeup!! ;) What a beautiful post and that photo of Uncle S and Zee is so special. I have experienced that circle of life feeling too when my father-in-law passed away unexpectedly just before Curly-locks was born. I was standing there with family mourning while everyone was looking at me and crying. My swollen belly with our long-awaited baby inside. So sad. I'm sorry for your losses x
Kylie Purtell said…
Lovely post Kylez, few sneaky tears dripping off my face. The pic of Zee and Uncle S stung my heart a little.. in joy and sadness. Circle of life indeed.... x
Kylie Purtell said…
A beautiful post, lovely. Too often we live and think like we are invincible. And then in a heartbeat... X
Kylie Purtell said…
Its a lovely reminder to treasure what we have now xx
Kylie Purtell said…
I also think children are born when they are supposed to be here with us and definitely believe in the cirlce of life. I wish I had got to meet my grandfathers but I didn't - having said that, I know that both my gransmothers are looking down and see K each and every day.
Have the best day !
Kylie Purtell said…
The circle of life is one that will forever continue. It makes me really appreciate the little moments, here and now. x
Kylie Purtell said…
I lost my dad and uncle within months of each other. They were 61 and 62 years old. Far too young. When both my sisters got pregnant and had babies within 3 months of each other it was so much happiness after so much sorrow. It is so hard to comprehend, to make sense of, but sometimes we don't need to make sense of it, rather just go with the ebbs and flows, and make the very most of every day. It is hard to remember to do sometimes, but usually there is something that will remind us and steer us back on track if we start deviating. Like a new baby, or people moving away, or a timely blog post reminding you that life is short! Great post Kylie xo Aroha
Kylie Purtell said…
Far out. That's a pretty full on year for you family Kylez. I'm so glad there have been babies born to bring balance.
We've been so blessed in out family. No deaths since my grandmothers 23 years ago. It doesn't make me love any less fiercely though. You just never know
Kylie Purtell said…
What a powerful post Kylie, the circle of life really has washed over your family and given you so much to deal with. I'm so glad that amongst the sadness, there has also been happiness. I guess that is a reminder in itself. Life is about balance x Josefa from #teamIBOT
Kylie Purtell said…
Life is a funny thing. There are ups and downs and joy and sorrow and you never know what's going to come next. I'm glad there has been happiness and new life amidst the sadness and grief of those passing. Beautifully written post Kylez x
Kylie Purtell said…
I have been trying to do the same, eg not wish my days away, I was a shocker at it when No.3 arrived and now I want to go BACK to when he was a baby and just embrace all the mentalness that was life :( But I have learned the lesson now and it's not too late for me, and you, to just roll with it. You sure have had a very emotional year, as has your mumma. Hugs xx
Kylie Purtell said…
lovely post Kylie xx
Kylie Purtell said…
I had goose bumps all the way while I was reading your post Kylie...
Kylie Purtell said…
This is a lovely way of reflecting on grief and happiness. Sorry to hear there has been so much loss in your family but so nice to see the babies and the weddings amidst it to remind you that life goes on.
Kylie Purtell said…
I've been thinking about this lately - I'm at the age where we lose our parents. A friend's mum was in hospital last week, thankfully okay now - I've known the family for over 30 years!
Kylie Purtell said…
A beautiful post. Grief is never easy but I like your relfection to laugh and love feirously. We can all do this.x
Kylie Purtell said…
I believe that, as long as we remember and love people who have passed before, they remain alive. How beautiful that they will always be remembered with love as you look at your gorgeous little one up there.

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