They said she had a lovely death. So I asked them, ‘What is that?’
They told me it is the kind that marks the remembrance of a life, not the point of its departure. One where you can reach up a hand and tenderly stroke the face, a weathered and defenceless relic of our time on this earth. One where you can feel the soul yielding and softening under the skin, embedded in every bow and curve, from the crease of the mouth to the stoop of the brow, as it gets ready to depart. It is the kind where there are no words left hovering by the door, peering round to watch in awkwardness, wishing they had been said but knowing it is far too late. It is the kind where vulnerability has no place, for it is guarded by the sanctuary of our shared humanity. It is the kind where you are reminded what makes us love, and why we care for each other. It is the kind that is an honour, not a duty, to be present at.
They said they had to spend 13 weeks on a course learning how to be compassionate. I said, ‘It’s so sad – how people forget.’