On this day last year my mum was admitted to ICU. Shit had hit the fan. It was the beginning of the end.
Next month we will be marking one year without her. At the relatively young age of 30 I had to start learning to exist in a world the love of my life is no longer part of. How many more years do I have left in this world the love of my life is no longer part of? How many of those years will be marked by this never-ending sense of grief?
An ex of mine told me that around the seven year mark was when he could think of his late mum without experiencing the pain all over again. That is consistent with a lot of articles I have read on grieving. When I come across yet another article mentioning the seven year mark I cannot help but think:
- Seven years is so far away
- There really is something special about the number seven
It is one of my favourite numbers. My first favourite number was three. Not because of my birthdate, but because when the Power Rangers said “it’s morphing time!!!” the Pink Ranger, who I was obsessed with, was third in line to morph. My current favourite number is 420 (lol) but somewhere along the way I picked up seven as both a favourite and lucky number. If I have to choose a number for anything, I always go with seven.
I remember once as children my siblings and I came up with a song called seven. More accurately, I came up with it and forced them to sing along. Firstborn 101. We had gone to Mater Hospital with my mum who was visiting a friend of hers. We were too young to be allowed in the wards so we had to find ways to entertain ourselves. This is how the song went:
What a stupid song. Lol. But it was cute at the time. I digress though.
Other than grieving there are other seven-year cycles in life. In marriage there is the seven-year itch, a psychological term that suggests that happiness in a relationship declines after around year seven of a marriage. There is also a theory of human development based on seven year cycles. Early twentieth century philosopher and mystic Rudolf Steiner conceived said theory and linked those cycles to astrology.
I first came across this fact when I read Yesterday, I Cried by Iyanla Vanzant. When researching this post I came across a more detailed explanation by Emilia Gordon in The Mind’s Journal. Below are excerpts from the article.
0 – 7 years:
This is the beginning of life, the most important stage in one’s life. At this period of time, we are driven by the instincts of hunger, the necessity for love, protection and support, the feeling of pain and the impact on the environment. While this happens, our inner and mental structures are built which in later years allow us to feel, to think and to be aware of our identities as individuals.
8 – 14 years:
The development of the earlier phase is continued here. The ideas, concepts, associations which had begun are now being discovered by the child. The child experiences physical and psychological development. Sexual organs slowly start maturing towards puberty. The thymus considerably decreases in size promoting the development of right, wrong and social responsibility. Adult teeth replace milk teeth.
15 – 21 years:
This period is characterized by strong emotional and physiological changes with the dawn of puberty. We start becoming ‘self-conscious’, we start appreciating art, music, literature and distinguish between the subtler tones of color. Our ideas of morality change. We become aware of our sexualities, we tend to choose a partner for our own needs and have a difficult time figuring out our boundaries.
22 – 28 years:
This is the stage of refinement. The child finally enters into the stage of adulthood mentally and emotionally.
We start creating the base of our career and relationships which will earn us respect in the larger world. The sparks of interest seen in earlier cycles have a definite shape and abilities are more developed now. In relationships, we learn to choose our partners based on the human beings they are. We learn to live a life with them by loving, supporting, adjusting, respecting, compromising without causing any harm to ourselves.
29 – 35 years:
This is the phase where our creative process of mind comes to the forefront. Researchers and artists are at the peak of their careers at this point in time. According to scientists, the association centers of the brain come to its peak at the age of 35.
The emotions become subtle. We understand ourselves better and we realize who we are and what are the characters forced on us by our family, friends, and society.
36 – 42 years:
A new restlessness is being felt depending on one’s personality and circumstances. Our careers, habits, relationships are evaluated by us, modified and changed. We can identify what makes us from the ones that don’t.
For those who haven’t reached their peak of realization or creativity in their earlier phase, this is the time they do.
43 – 49 years:
This is the stage when major changes in our lives take place. We self-introspect and take major turns be it in career or relationships. If we haven’t made any mark in life already, we try to achieve it at this age. Emotional love is more of an unconditional love now but a lot of us tend to retain that emotional age of a child. This is the age we start discarding stereotypes and believing in ourselves.
50 – 56 years:
This is the age of spiritual awakening. With the loss of our strength and vitality, we look inwards. We accept the changes in our bodies. For the ones who haven’t realized who they are and what’s their purpose in life, this age is the age of extreme depression.
57 – 63 years:
This is the age of accepting inner peace and embrac tranquility in life. There’s a great shift in adjusting to our aging bodies, our relationships and our changing perceptions of the world around us.
64 – 70 years:
At this period, we start having a deeper understanding of ourselves with the decrease in needs of our external world. We tend to see the best side of things and become aware of death. Detachment is practiced during this time.
71 – 77 years:
One can mature anytime but this is the period where one can connect to the inner self most. The unconditional love increases a lot and one starts accepting in a greater manner.
78 – 84 years onwards:
By this time, a new self has already developed. It has come out of the experiences of life already lived. The perceptions have widened and one lives life in a different way.
These seven-year cycles can be further divided into eight-year cycles of life based on astrology. This I also got from an Emilia Gordon article in The Mind’s Journal.
0 – 7 years:
Moon is the ruler during this period which starts from birth. Because of the sensitivity of the moon, the child is extremely sensitive. This requires the parent to be cautious. The role of the parent is very crucial at this point of time.
8 – 14 years:
Mercury’s influence during this time makes the growing child explore the world. They have a strong desire to change and end up in a different situation each new day. During this period, one learns the rules of communication with others.
15 – 21 years:
The ruling planet during this stage is Venus who symbolises love, sexuality and erotica. This period of adolescence sees the first encounters of love and sexuality. One starts exploring their emotions and sexuality and also focuses on outward appearance.
22 – 35 years:
Mars helps one settle down during this period. The aspirations, dreams, desires take the shape of reality and life goals are fulfilled. Establishment at both personal and professional level is accelerated by Mars.
36 – 42 years:
Sun’s influence drives everyone to reach their desired social status. All human beings have to go through significant changes in body during this time. This period is therefore very stressful both psychologically and physiologically.
43 – 56 years:
Jupiter heightens the level of spirituality among everyone. Important and significant decisions are taken during this time due to the influence of Jupiter. The sexual drive decreases immensely; women go through menopause and lose sexual attraction while men finds a decrease in their sexual energy.
57 – 70 years:
The ruling planet of this period is Saturn. With Saturn comes wisdom and senility, loss of energy in body which includes slowing down of bodily functions.
71 years and above:
Uranus instigates the search for new pleasures in life which one finds by delving deep into spirituality and indulging in family life with their grandchildren.
Fascinating stuff right!?