I am very lucky in that I got to the age of 21 before I had my first Earth shattering experience with death.
Today marks four years since my God Mother, Lee, grew her wings and sat at the right hand side of the man upstairs.
As I do every year, I went up and had a “brew” with her this morning, and while I was talking to her, I gazed around the Glemorus Gardens, which is where her ashes were spread. Really, it’s a beautiful place: Each marker which holds a small plaque with the details is dwarfed by a rosebush; there are trees and hills to frame the area; the beautifully managed grounds are lovely. A more fitting place for my God Mother couldn’t be found.
I looked around, and saw some amazing things.
I saw a woman with small children blowing bubbles and laughing.
I saw a small cluster of people, and heard their chorus of Happy Birthday.
I saw a young child showing the rosebush her new dance moves.
I saw a group of about 25, wiping their eyes as a coffin was lowered.
I saw a man, with a small child, tenderly wiping the head stone clean, as my God Father did for Ma earlier in the day.
I realised, as I was sitting there trying to hold back my tears, that every body here was linked together. We were all coming in our united pain, all part of a process that takes years to work through, all there to show how Love doesn’t die after death.
No one judges anyone for what they do or don’t do at the head stone. You could be dancing, as the young girl was, or you could be reading aloud, or you could just be sitting there with your coffee, thinking, reminiscing, hurting and loving, all at the same time.
And no one thinks any different of you.
I love the way that I glimpsed so many insights into peoples lives, and all of them seemed fitting. There was no judgement for someone laughing while they were there. There were no scornful looks for allowing a smile and a pirouette in what is usually deemed “A sad place.”
You could be eating a roast meal with birthday cake, and no one would think anything of it. People understand that you are sharing important aspects of your life with someone who is physically unavailable. People are probably wishing they had thought of that.
It’s the only place in the world that I have ever been that is 100% non-judgemental. As I walked away from Ma, with red eyes and a sniffly nose, a woman looked at me, smiled, and got in her car. There are no negative thoughts or fears, because we all know that to be there, to be a part of the place, we have had to walk the same path as millions before us as we navigate the rocky road that is grief.
To know that I could sit there, reading aloud to Ma, without any fear of judgement, or ridicule, is something that is invaluable.
And to the cherub, who was dancing her little heart out while her companion watched, smiling, with tears in her eyes – I hope you continue to dance for the Rose bush. Whoever you were dancing for is incredibly proud of you. I am.
Perfection can’t be beaten. You always came out on top – I used to think of you every “once in while” – but for the last four years, I have thought of you every day. I love you.