Our Chaplain Nicholas Roddis blogs on what being a Chaplain means and our recent in memory Pebble Walk.

“A Chaplain, in a nutshell, is a person who meets you as you travel your life path, giving care and support, for the matters of your spirit - the things that are valuable, precious and personal to you. When life brings change, these pieces may be forgotten, feel lost or don’t fit anymore and may leave a feeling of disconnection. Chaplains help by providing companionship as well as spiritual tools/techniques.

As Chaplain to the Martlets I understand that the experience of grief can be unique to each person; and living with grief, from a day to day basis, may be difficult and confusing.

This year, we held our first Pebble Memory Walk, inviting people to meet us on the beach at 6am, as the sun rose in the beautiful clear blue sky, to remember their loved ones. We each chose a pebble - making it a symbol of our relationship to someone who has died - and carried this pebble to the Peace statue, then returned to the Hove Lagoon.

On our return we created a large heart shape on the sand, filling it with our pebbles and even including pebbles for those unknown people who also carry the experience of grief.

Brian, one of the people who joined us for the Pebble Walk said: “For me the walk was very poignant because for almost everyday in the last few weeks of Joy's life we would follow that same route. She would walk as far as she could and then go the rest of the way in a wheelchair.

She loved to feel the rain and wind on her face and we would sit just watching the waves crashing on the shore almost exactly where the Pebble heart was formed.”

 

This was a wonderful event to be part of. I noticed that people were so sensitive and caring of one another, knowing that each person shared the pain of loss and grief. Sometimes people walked alone and at other times with each other, at times in silence or in conversation. Each at our own pace and each arriving at the end of the journey to be met by others who understood the meaning of such a symbolic journey.

Our Pebble Walk was both very personal and shared. The effect of being by nature – with the sun rising overhead, the waves playing rhythms of musical pebbles and the relative quiet of the promenade lent itself to a deep knowing and remembering that we are all part of life – and that our loved ones, who have died, remain part of our shared life."