I know it’s almost Valentines Day, and it is the time for hopeful love, but I was reminded this week of love of another sort.
A beautiful springlike day with warm sunshine, and the hint of first early buds forming as I drove to my destination. It was somewhere I had been before but not for some years. I wanted to arrive early to make sure I was on time and didn’t have to rush to find a parking space. As it was others unconnected with me had arrived before and parking was awkward but I found a space eventually and went to the room where I was to wait. I was the first. And pleased that I was. The others arrived shortly after me, some people I knew, some I didn’t . Those I did hugged and kissed me as we greeted each other. Then the person we were waiting for arrived and we followed him in to a darker room, thin windows letting in some low light on the stone floor. There were only 27 of us, its not a lot of people but we were all there for the one man. And as his son-in-law stood and talked about his life, his long life of 92 years, and the important people in his life, there were smiles, and tears, nods, and quiet reflection for this man and the way he had affected us all. And why we all it was important to be there that day for him, and for ourselves. I always say there is more love at a funeral than at a wedding and it was shown that day. After the funeral we all moved on to another room, this one with a view over a pretty garden, and small sandwiches to hand, and there was more chatting, catching up conversations and hearing how his last few weeks of life had taken their toll. His youngest daughter came to sit with me just before I left and said with a smile that her father had always had a soft spot for me, and I smiled at her words, since I have been very fond of him for the thirty years I’ve known him. And then she smiled and said to me “I’ve still got your picture” and I smiled back, delighted that she had although it was many years ago I did it for her. And realised then that there might only be 27 people there, but four couples in that room had paintings of mine on their walls. That’s a goodly amount isn’t it! I like to spread the love, in my art, and in my friendships.
I came home, feeling the love. And feeling full of love.
And two days after I was told of another death, this time on my side of the family. My aunt, a happy jolly woman I haven’t seen for many years but someone I remember with fond affection from family parties many years ago.
Death, and love, interconnected and part of life.