Tin: “Alright Vou? Cheers!”
Vou: “Same to you our kid.”
How’s it all going? I imagine you’re having a great time, being petted and spoiled by Mum, June and Nana, your three biggest fans. And both our Papoos, I expect they’re appreciating the extra support for the male contingent.
Is it as great as Nana always said it would be, over on the other side? The parallel universe only with street parties, bunting and sherry trifle? Thanks for all the signs anyway, that was helpful, though the hawk thing was a bit obvious. That was probably June winding you up. She promised me she’d send a sign to confirm the afterlife, but nothing came; maybe she was too subtle for me. Perhaps she told you to be a bit more repetitive. I knew you were about anyway, I felt it. Especially at the beginning, when we were sorting out the will; whenever there was a decision to be made, I’d think to you: what should we do Tin? And the answer came straight away. Thanks for making that so easy, appreciated.
I expect you’ve been following my brain reset project; quite an education, and I know you’ll have been interested. I couldn’t have done it without you Tin 🤣. It ended up being more about you than I’d originally planned; that made me feel close to you; and it made me miss you. You’ve become quite well known amongst my friends; one wrote to me this week to say how lucky I was to have you as a brother. She was right.
So, enough chat, this post is meant to be my conclusions on the brain re-set: what worked and what didn’t. As it turned out, everything helped, a bit. And everything woven together worked a lot, each activity supporting and extending some of the other activities. Quite magical in a way. It helped to have a clear focus on how to help myself. It didn’t work a hundred percent: the only thing that would have done that is if you could have come back.
It was never a perfect scientific experiment, because I also stopped working, so maybe living a life less pressured was a big help. We can never know, but I’d recommend it to anyone, to figure out their own self recovery programme in bereavement. I think it could be quite easy to take a wrong turn if you’re not conscious and aware of how it’s affecting you.
My advice is to make lots of small changes, be ready to stick with them over time, and have faith that they’ll add up to a big change; that’s how it worked for me. Sleep and physical health are fundamental, but bereavement throws a grenade through them, so you may have to start with journal writing, or meditation, which was the thing I was most resistant to. That was a revelation; I’ll definitely be continuing that.
I was reading some poems by Rumi the other day, Tin, reminding me of those years when you used to drive me to and from Somerset when I had that client there, and those long chats we had. One of your clients introduced you to Rumi: you were very taken with these lines:
“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I’ll meet you there.”
Poignant words Tin, in the circumstances. I’ll definitely meet you there.
You must be feeling exceptionally proud of Pat and Anthony and Alex; their courage and dignity this last eighteen months has been an inspiration and that’s a testament to you, too, for being such a great husband and Dad.
So, my amazing bro, you darling man, see you in the afterlife, hopefully not for several decades. Give my love to all the ancestors especially Mum, tell them thanks for all the support they’ve given me through my life, I’ve been very aware of it.
Love you forever
Tino Tsoflias 1957 – 2017: a life in pictures
“If you imagine something that brings you joy, who cares whether it’s true?”
Many thanks to readers who have followed this series, which is dedicated, with love, to Tino, Pat, Anthony and Alex Tsoflias.