A Nice Hot Cup of Tea
I was talking about grief in yesterday’s blog post and it reminded me of a true story:
When I was first living in Oxford, England, in the mid 80s, I overheard a conversation on a bus. The older lady had just lost a dear friend and was clearly very sad about it. The younger lady, her daughter maybe? listen attentively and silently. Finally she said: “Let’s go home and have a nice hot cup of tea” and her mother seemed to calm down immediately at the idea.
At the time I thought that was not much of a response to so much pain. I later discovered that it was quite a common remedy to all sorts of physical and emotional ailments in England in those days. (maybe still is? enlighten me!) Now I think it was a great response:
- the younger lady did not buy into all the drama or whip it up or make it worse in any way
- she offered a remedy that would warm the body at a time when grief tends to shut it off and make it feel cold
- we can all use a little sweetness at a time of bitter sadness
- she was offering to do something practical TOGETHER with the older lady
- she was engaging her Mom to do something physical in the future, to take a step out of the stuckness of her pain.
Brilliant all around me thinks. Anyone need a cuppa? Clients sometimes say that having a session with me feels like we just had tea together except they feel so much better and lighter after! So come on over! I even have a beautiful picture of a tea lady with a hot cup of tea in her hand hanging on the wall of my office. ;o)