Word of the Week – 22/01/16
Word of the Week – 22/01/16
Calvin and Hobbes
Bill Watterson. William Boyd “Bill” Watterson II (born July 5, 1958) is an American cartoonist and the author of the comic strip Calvin and Hobbes, which was syndicated from 1985 to 1995
The essence of this strip is relationship, life, love, death and dying.
When I read this on Wednesday evening of this week, so many people, images and stories came to mind. Before people die, those relationships of yesteryear, the relationships that matter come to the fore. I never had a relationship with a toy from birth but my little boy does… It’s a little rabbit called Jonah! My son is 6 years old and Jonah sleeps under his chin every night… he goes on sleepovers to nana and papa’s, grandma’s, grandpa and grammie’s. I observe this relationship with an inner envy, delighted that he has this sense of closeness, of love and of comfort but wishing in some way that I had preserved such a relationship of my own.
Adults always hold relationships dear to their heart, whether there is connection or not. At end of life I have always been sure that in the quiet moment of the day and night, life is being reflected upon and Calvin’s desire to have his wife search the loft to make the connection more than just emotional is so moving… especially when she finds him.
The conversation between them whilst Calvin was at his most ill, most vulnerable was so representative of what happens in reality. Those tender moments, words, sorry’s and regrets but with the wonderful sense of forgiveness and those words… “it doesn’t matter… all is well”.
That this wonderful relationship and memory is passed to Calvin’s grandson Francis is the most moving part. That Francis was involved at all in Calvin’s death was so moving to read. Often parents worry about involving children and yet often there are those tender conversations between grandparents and grandchildren that just must take place. The sharing of wisdom, of instruction to live life well, to grow up, be happy and take things on is all too familiar. Once those conversations take place, peace descends.
Working with people who are dying is such a privilege. There is such valuable opportunity to learn. We learn how to live life to the full, to cherish and to love. Whilst love comes in all shapes and sizes, we are reminded of how personal love is, how private relationship is and how the only two people who can fully understand the depth of relationship are those involved. Everyone else is just an observer.
The tragedy of this story is the equal sense of loss… Calvin loved Hobbes and Hobbes , Calvin…Whilst Hobbes lost his dearest friend, he selflessly accompanied Calvin on his final journey. Calvin’s death was complete and was a good death.
Whilst this experience was undoubtedly difficult, painful, terrifying and heart wrenching for both of them, it was an experience neither Calvin nor Hobbes would have missed.
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