Last night I began to write hoping to comfort a friend. As I chose words I realised that they may strike a chord with others. And then the phone rang. It was one of those calls you wish you didn’t answer to delay knowing for just a little while. My Nan, the very lady who instilled the meaning of family in me, had passed away. And so my own words both screamed at me and offered comfort.
There is a special occasion to mark this week. A celebration of life. But how does one celebrate a life cut short? The loss of a child is not something anyone should have to experience. It is so wrong. The unfairness of this world sometimes means the most beautiful souls are born to the most fragile bodies. So sometimes angels can’t stay.
Love is infinite. So, it seems, is loss. For how can we, as people capable of such extraordinary joy, reconcile the absence of a loved one. My belief is we can’t and we don’t. What we do is gradually find a new normal. Everyone does this in their own way and at their own pace. There is no right or wrong way to navigate the pain. But the love will always be there.
I have many happy memories of a Nan who taught us how to play cards, sang to her magpies and swore in quadruples. She was “funny great nan” to our kids and, even when she muddled who was who, she still made people smile. She lived. And in a time of sadness I am grateful that she did and that she died having really lived. I don’t know how to take away my friend’s intense pain of losing a loved one in the wrong order but I am grateful to have known such a delicate soul. Another star in the sky tonight to watch over those lost too soon.