Wednesday, 12 September 2012
Last year I went to the funeral of a friend who had died, suddenly and unexpectedly, leaving behind three beautiful young children, a heartbroken husband and countless friends who struggled to believe that she was no longer there. At the service her husband and children showed incredible strength as they told us about her life, how rich she had made their lives and how positively she touched the people around her. It was a humbling experience.
As part of the service, each of us had been given a card to write down our memories of her for the family to keep as a tribute. It caused us all to reflect on our shared histories, the great times that we'd had, and in writing them down, we turned them into a permanent record. When speaking to her husband a few months later, he said that these cards, and the letters that he had received from friends that spoke of picnics, pub trips, chaotic days out with the children and dancing on chairs to 'Sunshine Mountain', had brought him great comfort and some happiness because it proved what he always knew. His wife was beautiful, kind hearted, fun-loving, thoughtful and someone that will never be forgotten. These letters and cards will help the children know more about their mum, give them an insight into the girl and woman that she was, and hopefully along the way provide them with stories that they find hilarious, awe-inspiring and comforting.
I hadn't appreciated the impact of this type of remembrance until very recently. After putting a picture of my dad in the previous blog post, a friend left a comment on my Facebook page that read "Bless your dad Toni...so remember him xx". It's just seven words, but they made my day. 22 years on, that acknowledgement of his life is still a meaningful and powerful thing. So if you know somebody that has lost someone they love - let them know that you remember too.