Two days ago my beloved wife and lover died suddenly. She was 84 years of age and had lived a full and significant life but I still found it a shattering experience and I am still trying to come to grips with it – as are many others. The cards and the letters are pouring in, some of being quite profound. One was from Carolyn:
“For my precious, kind and longest friend, Neville. I am really so, so sorry to hear that Margaret has passed away. I wish I could give you a hug my friend. I send much love and many thoughts to you. This is your time now to let others love, support and comfort you as you have so generously, without expectation of anything in return, given to countless others. Much love and friendship to you always Neville.”
I did so little for her and the advice she gives is so important. “This is the time to let others support and love and comfort you”. Love given and love received really is what it is all about.
Another was from a former member of the congregation that set the tears flowing, not for my sake or Margaret’s sake, but because of its depth of understanding. Ashley came to Wembley Downs as a teenager, now has a couple of degrees and is working as a social worker in Auckland prior to moving to Belfast to undertake Peace Studies. She is about 23 years of age and demonstrates a maturity far beyond her years – a maturity which is expressed in her email.
I can’t tell you how sad I am to hear that Marg has died. She was such a beautiful woman and such a wonderful role model – I loved her very much, and I miss her very much.
In fact, I am finding it difficult to imagine the world without her. I can so clearly see her in my mind, I can hear her voice and feel her embrace even as I write this now.
I can’t imagine how difficult this time must be for you, and I’m not really sure what to say, I just felt that I should write to express some solidarity with you in this time. I know that I am not alone in that, the world seems to be filled with people who loved Marg dearly. And when I do come across someone who didn’t know who Marg was, I find myself telling them about her, re-living the memories I have of her, and trying to make her come alive for them, even just for a moment.
I love both you and Marg very deeply, and I will for the rest of my life.
I hope you are feeling supported at this time, and I hope that you are grieving well. There is much to grieve.
I wish I could say more – but words so fail to capture what we feel.
Love and peace,
You don’t get it much better than that! And for me it was just what was needed “Grieve well, Neville. You have much to grieve about.”
The Funeral Service is on Monday. I was wondering whether I should, or could, go to the regular service on Sunday. Ashley’s email makes it quite clear where I should, and will be, on Sunday – in the community of which we have been a part for over forty eight years