Healing from Loss: Teatime Ritual



On a small boat in the middle of Cayuga Lake, in the middle of October, I am drinking tea with my friends. In real china teacups. With saucers. We are a motley crew: me and my friends, Barb and Liz, and their fathers and one daughter, not mine. I no longer have a father or a daughter. At this moment it is easy to pine over this. But I’m the only one of the three of us with a living mother. And, I remind myself, my son comes home from Afghanistan in two days. Still, I watch the fathers sitting together and can’t help but think how my own father would have fit in perfectly. How my own daughter would have loved to be out on the lake in October.
The boat gently rocks as Barb pours the hot gourmet-blended tea into fragile cups with floral designs. It is our second annual teatime honoring the memory of her mother.
“These are lemon apricot scones from Collegetown Bagels and chocolate chip scones from Greenstar,” says her daughter, passing two bags around.
“To mom,” we all toast.
For a minute I wonder what I am doing here. I never even met my friend’s mother. I’m the only one without a relative on the boat.
But everyone here knows loss. Along with good and bad times, we build rituals into our individual life patterns to share the memories of the ones we lost. Today it feels like fathers and daughters are being shared too. I joke with the fathers and try to photograph the red fox the daughter points out on the shore.
Clouds rolling over the sky hide the sun. I am having teatime in the middle of the lake in October because of the twists and bends my life path has taken. And because of the good friends I have found along the way.on a boat in October on Cayuga Lake

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8 thoughts on “Healing from Loss: Teatime Ritual

  1. Pingback: Rituals for Life, Love, and Loss | ANYTHING'S POSSIBLE - EVEN JOY

  2. Elaine Mansfield

    The power of simple ritual to help us remember those we’ve lost and feel connected to the friends who surround us now. Thanks, Robin. Beautiful post,

  3. Barb Parker

    Thank you for celebrating my Mom with us. She was special. As are all the other missing members of our families.

  4. Lynne Taetzsch

    This brought tears to my eyes, Robin. How beautiful to find joy in sadness and sadness in joy–I know that feeling well.


    1. Robin Botie

      Thanks, Lynne. I guess you can’t really know one without the other. Cheers to you.

    1. Robin Botie

      Thanks. That sounds like YOU. And thank you for taking me along with you (via blogs and photos) on your amazing journey.


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