Remembering My Father
by Pamela Hooker
I was co-leading a grief workshop at the hospital I at which I work. We had about twenty people there, and everyone was very active, in terms of sharing their story, etc. The other leader and I had decided we wanted "them" to take away some concrete memory of their loved one and we came up with this very simple origami ornament, that looks something like a falling star, when done.
We brought some stickers, of various types and colored pens. I demonstrated the folding of the paper, and the process of using stickers and short phrases to describe their memories of their loved one. All the while, I was using my father, who had died more than 30 years ago, as my example of a lost loved one. I don't know why I chose him, as my mother had died only 3 years ago and grief for her was much more close at hand.
Everyone very much enjoyed the exercise. Some were crying, but very involved and in the end able to dry their tears and smile at their creation. The part that I was surprised about is how much this simple exercise, that somehow connected me to my father's memory, brought to the forefront of my mind what my father had imparted in me.
It was as if, when folding and unfolding the paper, I was rediscovering parts of him, in me, that greatly influence who I am today. I still have this little ornament, hanging on a shelf in my office and each time I glance it's way, my father comes to mind. It was a profound experience in self-discovery.