It’s the Summer, the weather has been reasonable and the days continue to drift by. It’s probably been the best Summer I’ve ever enjoyed as my gang are all independent, we’ve had days out, enjoyed holidays and when we are at home together life is easy. Yes all is good.
However, there are moments when I get a glimpse into another world. A world which my Mum is living in every day, as is my great friend Daniel’s Mum and the parents of young Ben. A world where loss is ever present. Where no matter how wonderful a day is, there is an emptiness, a missing piece.
Tonight we took time out from Summer holidays and days away to make our way to our local graveyard as the annual Mass is said for all those buried there. The sun shone, but as always the wind there would cut through you. I was a little close to late so arrived to see a large crowd gathered and made my way to Daniels grave.
No matter how many times I visit, it is impossible to stand there and look at Daniels handsome face and not hurt. What a wonderful boy his parents, siblings and cousins lost. What a character his friends still miss. I look to his siblings and imagine what he might look like now, not a boy of 13 but a young man of 17, and I look to his parents and at times see incredible pain etched on their faces.
Looking around the graveyard tonight there were so many gathered, many more than there were four years ago, Daniels first year there. Some stood by their loved ones graves, touching the tombstone or sitting beside it. Some came alone, others in large groups. It’s a sad reminder that we all must grieve.
Last year as we gathered the weather was dreadful, but towards the end of the mass a beautiful rainbow shone. I joked in my head tonight that because the evening was so fine Daniel would struggle to send his family a rainbow this year. As I did so a single white feather caught my eye. It was lying on the ground in front of his family.
Of course it could be random, but in the midst of all the loss and sadness it was lovely to show it to his Mum and to imagine for a moment that Daniel was standing right beside her.
photo credit: Maripaz Molina Hane via photopin (license)