I am sat in a little village cafe in the Heart of England looking out at the gorgeous autumn sunshine shining down on a village scene that makes you feel glad to be alive.
A small stream weaves through the village splitting the main road into two separated paths joined by a small footbridge and two road bridges in the space of 100 yards, the willow trees growing on the banks of the stream are reflecting their golden yellow glow on to the buildings on both sides of the bisected high street, dotted occasionally by bare trees that have already shed their leaves after the first frost.
I sip from a steaming hot cup of tea, which was squeezed and stirred for me by the cafe owner who keeps calling me ‘Darling’ but then she keeps calling everyone ‘Darling’ so it only makes me feel special for about thirty seconds. I am watching a steady stream of cars drive by, the only thing, apart from the awful not quite tuned in/not quite loud enough radio playing in the cafe kitchen, that could ruin this idyllic view.
But it is all tainted, it is all tarnished and I know exactly why but I don’t understand it.
I am sat here waiting, waiting for my eldest daughter who is attending the funeral of a friend of hers who committed suicide a week or so ago. I don’t know the facts, only met him once, if at all and I can not comment on why but I am appalled that my daughter is having to deal with this at such a young age. I am so desperately sad that a young man would be so traumatized by whatever was troubling him, to take his own life so young.
I was walking in the church graveyard after dropping my daughter off at the church to avoid having to walk back past the coffin and the grieving family who had just arrived at the church gate, when I was struck by the ages of the people’s gravestones that were there, not one under 50 that I could see and the graveyard was teaming with life, the Quince bush was laden with fruit, the Yew tree must be well over two hundred years old and was dropping berries like bright red drops of dew as I was walking by, there were lots of birds and evidence of rabbits and other foraging mammals that I couldn’t clearly identify, all lit up by the bright sun or covered in the mornings frost still in the shade.
I don’t know yet quite how I will support, advise and console my daughter this afternoon, she is living with her Mum this week so whatever I do it is this afternoon only until this coming Sunday when she returns to my home for a week.
All I do know is that I will try to remind my daughter that whatever her problems, whatever the situation, whatever her concerns, she can talk to me; that whatever she has done, said, thought or become, I will always love her.
I will also listen to her, whilst giving her a really big hug.
Life’s what you make it, don’t waste it.
Such a shame, so sad, so very, very sad.