Friday, 8 June 2012
A Letter To My Mother
It all went off well. There was a good turn-out—the tennis people, family, neighbours, even the solicitor came. Heavy showers gave way to sunshine and a pheasant walked in front of the hearse as it made its way up to the church, not a care in the world. The churchyard was so pretty—oxeye daisies and other wildflowers I glimpsed out of the corner of my downcast eye.
A skylark was singing its heart out as we got back to the house. We’d polished the wooden floors and brought flowers in from the garden. Oh, and we had a lovely Victoria sponge—you would have enjoyed that. ‘Not too sweet,’ you would’ve said. We’d had a good tidy-up as well—moved all your boxes of paperwork. The house was so alive with all the people who came back for the do. But it echoed with your absence.
Then yesterday we took you back to your South London roots to lay you to rest. It started to rain as we got to the cemetery. It brought out the lemony scent of the roses and the clay of the dug soil.
The vicar said something about the frailty of the human body and the release of the spirit at death. You’re free now from this world and we should wish you well. But still I long to hear the creak of the floorboards in your room, your careful tread downstairs, the click of the kettle as you switched it on. This is a new beginning, though, for you and for us, and I wish you bon voyage and I’ll see you there when I’ve finished what I’ve got to do.