Sunday, August 16, 2009

Keeping me company

Sue(6) & Jen(4)

I’ve just been to stay at my mother’s house for the weekend. I was all packed up and ready to go there on Friday, but then I couldn’t face it, because the last time I went – in April – I was so upset that my mother wasn’t there. And I didn’t want to go again and find her not there again. But my sister Jen (see above with me) and my brother Pete (see below with me) were going too, and I didn’t want to let them down. So I went, and I’m glad I did. We had a good time, and there were only a couple of times I broke down in tears.

Once was when I was looking in a drawer that I thought we had already cleared and found a box of letters my mother had saved, and in amongst them was something she had written out on a scrap of paper. It was a quote which I have never liked, but which she obviously did, because we have found it before, in amongst some other papers, as if she had left it there for us to find, as a comfort.

Death is nothing at all.
I have only slipped away into the next room.
I am I and you are you.
Whatever we were to each other,
that we still are.

Call me by my old familiar name.
Speak to me in the easy way
which you always used…

When I slept in her bed that night, she didn’t feel far away. But I don’t think she was waiting at the house for us; I think I took her there with me, in my head.


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