Friday, November 11, 2011

The Day of One Love. One Life.

"Once I understood each word the caterpillar said
Once I smiled in secret at the gossip of the Starlings
and shared a conversation with a housefly in my bed
Once I heard and answered all the questions of the crickets
and joined the crying of each falling dying flake of snow,
I once spoke the language of flowers.
How did it go?
How did it go?"
- Shel Silverstein

When the sun came up today the lives of many people were changed forever.

Less than 24 hours ago, Ceridwen Claire Allom was living and breathing and laughing, and riding her bike.  News of her death has taken my breath away and struck deeply into my heart, which bleeds for her brothers, her mother, her grandparents and great grandparents, and all her many friends.

There will be more written here about this, but now's not the time. For today, Ceri's pictures and her friend's songs can tell the story of a beautiful young woman, an original. My heart is with her family and friends today.

One from Ceri's mum;

I remember the complete and utter desolation, devastation, when my brother died, how much I just wanted to fix it, like we want to fix dear, sweet little Ceri. How hard it was to sleep, and you come to treasure those few, precious seconds every morning when you wake, before you remember again.

Here's a little bedtime story, The Fisherman and his Soul, by Oscar Wilde, who wrote some of the most beautiful children's stories you've ever heard (and you probably have heard one or two of them.) Chapter 33 goes like this:
"And as he spake there came a great cry of mourning from the sea, even the cry that men hear when one of the Sea-folk is dead. And the young Fisherman leapt up, and left his wattled house, and ran down to the shore.  And the black waves came hurrying to the shore, bearing with them a burden that was whiter than silver.  White as the surf it was, and like a flower it tossed on the waves.  And the surf took it from the waves, and the foam took it from the surf, and the shore received it, and lying at his feet the young Fisherman saw the body of the little Mermaid.  Dead at his feet it was lying.

Weeping as one smitten with pain he flung himself down beside it, and he kissed the cold red of the mouth, and toyed with the wet amber of the hair. He flung himself down beside it on the sand, weeping as one trembling with joy, and in his brown arms he held it to his breast. Cold were the lips, yet he kissed them. Salt was the honey of the hair, yet he tasted it with a bitter joy. He kissed the closed eyelids, and the wild spray that lay upon their cups was less salt than his tears.

And to the dead thing he made confession.  Into the shells of its ears he poured the harsh wine of his tale.  He put the little hands round his neck, and with his fingers he touched the thin reed of the throat. Bitter, bitter was his joy, and full of strange gladness was his pain.

The black sea came nearer, and the white foam moaned like a leper. With white claws of foam the sea grabbled at the shore.  From the palace of the Sea-King came the cry of mourning again, and far out upon the sea the great Tritons blew hoarsely upon their horns."
And that's how it feels. It's not pretty. It hurts the people you leave behind, the ones you love the most, brothers, mothers, fathers, uncles and aunties, cousins, grandparents, great grandparents - it was so surreal, meeting Ceri's great grandparents - it hurts more than anything, and the terrible images of the discovery, and the utterly unbelievable reality, cannot ever be washed away from the memory. Imagine seeing your beautiful sister like that.

Death is forever, it's final, we know that much, and that's all we really know for sure. You can't undo it, you can't fix it, you can't come back. On the official form certifying the death someone has to identify the person. When my brother died, it was my sister. On the form it had the question "How long have you known the deceased? The answer, in little handwriting, "All my life." The pain my sister and I feel, the pain Ceri's mum and dad and brothers, grandparents, great grandparents, all her friends feel, so strong it's almost overwhelming. 

She's gone where we can't find her now, where we can't fix her, no matter how much we love her.  Life is for living. And it's so short anyway - just a tiny insignificant speck in the great scheme of things, but while it lasts it's magic, it's a wonderful gift from the Universe, it's Paradise, right here, please, please, please don't waste it. Spend it having fun with your friends, or travelling the world, do what you love. Don't do this to the one's you love.

We have an epidemic in this country. Wairarapa has for several years had twice the national rate of self inflicted death, in a country with the highest rates in the world. Every few weeks another family, and all the friends at all the schools, have to go though this. More will be written about this matter in due course, and we must remember that there has been no formal decision regarding the cause of death of Ceridwen Claire Allom yet, and there may not be for some time.

Meanwhile, here's another of Ceri's favorite songs, thanks to her friends for sharing the love, a sweet little song for a sweet little lady who had great taste in music.   

. . . and another song, because music heals the soul (even birds singing).

Zoe sang Tiny Dancer like an angel for her friend, her fingers resting on the white wooden box with her friend inside. A little bird forever silenced now. No words can describe the utter perfection of it Zoe's singing, it still rings in my heart, or the utter desolation in the hearts of her friends and family as we stood and sat in the little chapel and listened to it fill up the silence and drown out the weeping.

The story of Ceridwen, the Goddess of White Words, Ceridwen's Cauldron of Divine Knowledge, Wisdom, Rebirth, and Inspiration, represents regeneration in the womb of the Goddess. According to the legend, the name of Ceridwen's Cauldron was Amen, and its transforming magic was said to happen through change, experience and divine inspiration. So, from the passing of Ceridwen Claire Allom was born the Circle of Love, part of the FOCCCers, Friends of Caring Communities, committed to addressing the epidemic of youth suicide, child abuse and lack of adequate care that's plagued the Wairarapa for far too long and committed to preventing it.

Ceri's short life was so full of love and laughter, and she touched so many hearts.

The story of Ceridwen's Cauldron speaks of the Cauldron representing the womb, the Holy Grail, the source of Love. Her mummy bore her, and brought her into the world, and loved her more than anything. It took six men to carry her outside into the sunshine yesterday.

Ceri was just fifteen years old, she'll always be just fifteen years old. That's just not right.

Too many of our young people are at risk.

The message being delivered locally to people at risk is "Talk to someone" - unfortunately the standard of the "someones" involved in the many local "community organisations" is lacking in quality, integrity, common sense, empathy, and other vital qualities, and the sound of silence is deafening.

Mental health services are particularly lacking. There is a lot more information on this site about the causes and the factors contributing to the shocking death rates, but this is about One life, Ceridwen Allom's short, sweet, life.

I was a Boarding Matron at St Matthews Collegiate, where Ceridwen attended when she lived in Masterton. I was bullied out of the position after a year and a half or so by a certain clique, and observed other bullying and incompetence, etc, with concern, at this school and others. One of the people who deserves special commendation in this community is the Deputy Principal of St Matthews Collegiate, Julie Holdsworth. I'll refrain from commenting on some of the other staff of St Matthews, or the Board of Trustees, but St Matthews is very fortunate indeed to have Julie Holdsworth. After the service for Ceri, in the chapel at the funeral directors, after all the purple balloons had drifted away, we went to St Matthews for a cup of tea The Principal and others had been at the service, but they weren't to be seen at the school afterwards, Julie Holdsworth greeted everyone and presided over the occasion in her usual impeccably (and naturally) graceful manner - we were a bit of a motley crew, and it was an extremely emotional time, but Julie Holdsworth has a gift for empathy, and healing, listening, facilitating growth, growing potential. She's the sort of person Ceri might have grown up to be.


  1. moe mai ra e hine e moe mai ra irotoi to moengaroa mo ake tonu atu ....aue ..arohanui kite whanau pani i nga wa katoa

  2. Kia ora sister,
    Thank you so much, for this beautiful blessing, bestowed on our little sister. Arohanui x

  3. This is Ceris mum...

    I didn't know about this site... until today

    I'm crying

    Thank you.....for's beautiful