As we left this afternoon, you said you still read my blog. I was planning to write to you, but in the absence of finding a Paperchase at the train station (disbelief!), I thought I’d put my train journey down south to good use, and type.
I left from Halifax station. I’m sure you’ll remember it overlooks Eureka! CM has grown so much from the times I took her there. I remember celebrating B&E’s due date by taking them all there for the day… although we probably only lasted half.
Leaving today, it felt even more bittersweet. That we have all left the North, with so many memories for each of us of our time living there.
It was wonderful to see you today- I want to say in spite of the circumstance, but that doesn’t sound right. Today you did what you set out to – you celebrated your dad’s life – on behalf of everyone present.
Despite leaving the North, it continues to teach me the greatest lessons- of love, parenthood, family.. of life.
Today I’ve left feeling like I have too much inside to process.
I watched you today, and for all I learn about inspirational women, I am fortunate to have so many in my grasp.
It has been far too long since we have seen your daughter.
Walking into today, with her behind you- it felt like it was your younger self looking out for you.
As trite as it may be, your daughter is such a credit to you.
Today it felt like she was her age, in coping with her grief, and so much more in her need to keep an eye out for you.
A daughter who truly appreciates who she is because of how she has grown.
And I suspect you need someone to look after you right now, and know that between husband and daughter you will be.
To say you were a tower of strength today isn’t right.
Today I cried, not in grief, because you were really sharing everything your father had brought to life.
My tears were shed because I couldn’t believe how much grace you brought, in spite of everything you must be processing.
As you spoke, I wanted to stop the tears because it wasn’t what you intended.
But my awe couldn’t hold them back.
‘Grace’ – I hope you don’t mind that I’ve used the word which frequented your father-in-law’s service.
As you stood, and spoke, and shared, I realised this word truly encompasses you.
I can’t feel what it is like to lose a parent,
But I know, like you, what it is to be a parent.
And that is what I felt today- what amazing people your mum and dad have been to have raised you.
If my children had an ounce of the grace you shared today I would feel like I had done a good job.
And then to watch you with all of your father’s friends, your family, it was exhausting.
You must stop. I am sure you don’t need me to tell you, but please now you are home, safe, make sure you do.
Life is full of us living,
But I hope whilst we are busy, we will find space.
I will encourage my daughter to write to yours. I can’t help but think they have some wise spirit, inherited from their grandmothers, as common ground.
It would be good to think some of the North will be with them as they tread and create their lives.