Today I went back to the gardens of remembrance at the crematorium to pay respects to my foster Mam Katie who passed away 40 years ago today. I’d made the trip many times before in order to see the book open with her name on the page but today was different. For some reason, maybe because it was raining I’m not sure, as I walked round the gardens I felt them to be totally soul-less and I felt no connection with my mother at all. Even looking at the book with her name in left me spiritually indifferent. I won’t go back. The fact I am sharply aware of my mothers birth date and passing date is enough for me to know she is always in my heart and I get more comfort on those days from my own reflections and private prayer.
Finally after many years of searching I met my long lost cousin Jane who turned out to be a lovely person. Sadly our meeting was at the funeral service of her father, my Uncle Trevor, and Jane was clearly exhausted from spending the week making the arrangements and coping with her loss.
The service Jane had arranged for her father was beautifully delivered by a humanist friend of hers who personalised it especially for him, her raconteur, maverick, publican, chemist, genuinely funny dad with a zest for life. Anecdotes from all stages of his life were complimented by the music of Neil Diamond and guests continued sharing their memories at the wake held in his local club.
It is a sad day for both Jane and me losing her father and my uncle. But it’s also a happy day for me (and hopefully Jane too) that we now both have a long lost cousin back in our lives. X
I lost my beautiful sister on 1 April 2012. It was particularly painful for me as I was thousands of miles away in India at the time. I’d seen her a few days before I left the UK and doctors told me that although she had a terminal illness she would live at least another twelve months. She lived another five days.
In India I found myself taking long walks along very long beaches as a way of trying to come to terms with my loss and in some ways I’m thankful I had that time. Even though I was angry with the doctors I’ve always felt very spiritual in India and over about three weeks I was blessed with many opportunities to reflect.
As with most people who have lost someone I suppose I clue into those special dates as a way of remembering my sister and feeling close to her again even if it is just for a short while. Today (19 November) is her birthday and I wanted not just to acknowledge her but also remind myself that she is still very much an important part of my life. Her body has left this world, but her soul is still very much watched over by me. My love for her never dies, quite the contrary x x x