“Heaven knows we need never be ashamed of our tears, for they are rain upon the blinding dust of earth, overlying our hard hearts. I was better after I had cried, than before–more sorry, more aware of my own ingratitude, more gentle.”
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
Our neighbour has passed away.
The last time I saw Sharon she was her usual vivacious, smiling self. She excitedly told me that she and her husband, their grown up sons and girlfriends were leaving on safari in Botswana that week. She couldn’t wait. She clasped her hands across her stomach as we spoke and I noticed that it was distended.
She must have seen that I’d noticed. After a few seconds she quietly told me that the cancer had come back.
“I’m starting treatment at the Royal Marsdon when we’re back from Botswana. I’m in really good hands,” she said. That was September. Continue reading A life
“The world isn’t just the way it is. It is how we understand it, no? And in understanding something, we bring something to it, no?
Doesn’t that make life a story?”
Life of Pi by Yann Martel
Last week I attended my first funeral.
At age 17, I went to a memorial service for my Latin teacher who had died of cancer at a relatively young age, but never had I been to a funeral. The funeral was for my father-in-law’s cousin – the last of his father’s generation though far younger than his own father. Kenneth Pridham died at age 93. He attended our wedding and I’d seen him fairly regularly at lunches with my in-laws. In my limited times with him I had begun to get to know a somewhat fragile, quietly-spoken, tall elderly man who enjoyed discussing history, politics and current events, who had a lively sense of humour and loved cheese, but didn’t eat much lunch. Continue reading The story of a life well lived