Polly, my sister is dead.
The country church was full of people and full of flowers.
Nearly twenty people had put out flowers last evening.
Branches of purple lilac. Vases of daffodils and narcissi. Mauve wisteria in great lolling bunches. Bluebells, of course, and tulips in many colours, yellow, red, magenta.
And yellow green euphorbia.
All through the service I sensed petals drifting slowly to the floor.
It was such a personal service.
The tributes spoke of her annoying way of saying sorry after an ace service or mean drop shot, her courage and fortitude while she suffered, and above all, her love for the place where she lived.
The pastor, Jess, had done her research well and ended with Polly’s love of the countryside.
Nearly everyone in the church was wearing some little silver object she had made, an object with an image of the things she loved. A bee, a small bird, a flower, an old house.
She shared her life with other lives.
Then I think of a brown little girl with sun-bleached hair cut in a fringe, who spent her days in the water, in the hot dry places where we were children together.
And my eyes fill with tears again.
I know I will think of her on every day of the rest of my life.
I guess we finally slip into oblivion with the very last affectionate memory of a brother, child or grandchild.