I love you.
Say it. Say it right now, or as soon as you can to the people who mean the most to you.
I just got back from the funeral of Donna Maree Northcott. It sounds awful, but I didn’t know her, which I kind of regret at this moment. Her friends got up, one after another with nothing to say other than how brilliant she was.
Obviously no one is going to get up at a funeral with terrible things to say, but it was the fact that they got up to speak at all that was so moving. Despite shyness, or extreme sadness and breaking voices, her friends, her children and her siblings all got up and braved the tears to speak of how wonderful Donna was.
I went because I knew her son Chris, who was a friend of my brother Christopher. I went because I wanted Chris to know that I cared, even if just for a moment out of both of our lives, I needed him to know that there was support, love and comfort from wherever he needed to get it. He also attended and spoke at the funeral of my brother Christopher, so I owed him that same respect and human decency.
Mostly I went because I know what it is like to lose someone suddenly, and I know that there is an understanding and a bizarre comfort from knowing that someone has been where you are and lost someone before you did.
After the funeral is the worst part. Once the casket has been taken to the crematorium, or to be buried. The plates from the reception afterward are all empty, bar a few crusts and the edge bits of cake that no one wants to eat. Cards and flowers stop being sent. People stop visiting and bringing food. Everyone goes back to their lives, while a family is left to piece back together their lives around the hole their loss has created.
Eventually peace comes though, and while life is never the same, after a while you start to believe that you will see them again. Eventually you smile when you think of them, instead of cry. The bad times disappear, leaving you with only memories of happiness and love. Eventually it is okay that they are gone, because for you they aren’t really gone.
“Think of him as living
In the hearts of those he touched
For nothing loved is ever lost
And he was loved so much.”
– From a card we received
Rest in peace Donna, as clichéd as that term is. I am sad to not have met you, but you leave behind three beautiful sons who will continue to make you proud.
So, in the name of not letting another day go by; to the people I love, and they know who they are:
I love you.