Tuesday, 2 December 2008


Six months ago my family lost a precious family member. This loss was unexpected because they hadn't been ill and they were young. Since then we've wept together, held each other, laughed together and are rebuilding our lives. I spoke at the Humanist Celebration of their life. I spoke of happy times, of their funny ways, of our relationship, of his life. I didn't cry throughout. I looked nobody in the eye as I stood on the rostrum. I stayed strong for everyone else. How I managed this I will never know.

The above photo of myself and a new friend was taken last week at the Wake of another young man. He was in his early fifties and left a widow and two young sons. I had never met him. He was an old friend of Morty's and over five hundred people attended the service. I look happy don't I?

That's because I cried all the way through this stranger's service. All my tears, emotions and heart wrenching pain was for the man who died six months ago - my son-in-law. He also left a widow and two young sons; my daughter and my two young grandsons. Releasing my previously controlled emotions in a place full of people I didn't know and will never meet again was cathartic. My sense of relief was dramatic.

So I smiled and circulated at this stranger's wake. I said appropriate words to his widow. I spoke to his two young sons. Perhaps I was one of the few mourners among the many hundreds honouring this young man's life who knew exactly how this family feel. How they will face the future without their husband and father. How his two young sons will look after their Mum - just as my two young grandsons are looking after theirs.
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