DrugFAM 2013

5th Annual DrugFAM Conference 2013 Closing Reflection

At the close of the day conference, 'Bereaved by Addiction: Embracing our Differences', we listened to some quotes before placing candles on a table, remembering those we love who are 'Gone but not forgotten'. The quotes are written below.

A Reflection: Other Voices




"Nothing can make up

for the absence of someone we love...

it is nonsense to say that God fills the gap;

God doesn't fill it, but on the contrary,

God keeps it empty ...

and so helps us keep alive

our former communion with each other,

even at the cost of pain...

the dearer and richer the memories,

the more difficult the separation.

But gratitude changes the pangs of memory

into tranquil joy.

The beauties of the past are borne,

not as a thorn in the flesh,

but as a precious gift in themselves."




"To love at all is to be vulnerable.

Love anything and your heart

will be wrung and possibly broken.

If you want to make sure

of keeping it intact

you must give it to no one,

not even an animal.

Wrap it carefully round

with hobbies and little luxuries;

avoid all entanglements?

Lock it up safe in the casket of yourself.

But in that casket,

safe, dark, motionless, airless,

it will change.

It will not be broken;

it will become

unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable.

But to love is to be vulnerable."




The main character

in the novel 'The Shack'

asks God how he should live his life

in the face of great bereavement.

The answer is given, by this phrase

"... learning to live loved."





"Hope is the ability

to hear the music of the future:

faith is having the courage

to dance to it today."







"To clasp the hands in prayer

is the beginning of an uprising

against the disorder of the world."








Give us, we pray,

comfort and peace in our pain,

courage and strength in our daily lives,

consolation and gratitude in our grieving;

but above all, give us love.

May we find

gratitude in our vulnerability?

hope and faith in the disorder of the world?

and may we ?Learn to live loved?

in our dance today. Amen




(a currach is a boat)

On the day when

the weight deadens

on your shoulders

and you stumble,

may the clay dance

to balance you.


And when your eyes

freeze behind

the grey window

and the ghost of loss gets in to you,

may a flock of colours,

indigo, red, green,

and azure blue

come to awaken in you

a meadow of delight.


When the canvas frays

in the currach of thought

and a stain of ocean

blackens beneath you,

may there come across the waters

a path of yellow moonlight

to bring you safely home.


May the nourishment

of the earth

be yours

May the clarity

of light

be yours

May the fluency

of the ocean

be yours

May the protection

of the ancestors

be yours


And so may a slow wind

work these words of love

around you,

an invisible cloak

to mind your life.

Amen. (meaning ?Let it be so?)