Today is the funeral of a girl I know who tragically passed away in a car accident three weeks ago. She was just 32. Although I haven’t seen her for several years, I remember her as being beautiful, funny, kind and talented – she was an actress and, I recently learned, an aspiring playwright. I can’t imagine the pain her husband of two years is going through as he struggles to come to terms with the bottomless chasm of his grief – they were together since before I knew them, so he must feel he’s lost a part of himself. I just hope that one day he (and her family and friends) will be able to look back at the many happy memories they shared with fondness rather than pain, though I imagine that will take a very long time.
Being slightly removed from the situation by virtue of the time that’s passed since I last saw them, it feels somehow self-indulgent for me to wallow in grief. But I haven’t been able to stop thinking about her since I found out. It just seems so unfair that someone with such a zest for life, who showed so much promise in her career and was such an incredibly lovely person, should be so cruelly snatched away and cut down in her prime. I know the same could be said about everyone who dies young, I suppose this is just the first time it’s been someone who I really knew, and it’s come as a terrible shock because this is normally the sort of thing that happens to other people.
When I first found out I wrote a post about trying to take what little positives there are from such a tragedy, so I’m reminding myself now to make every day count, to tell everyone how much I love them and to be the best person I can be. But somehow all those promises feel like little more than hollow reassurances today, as I think about the fact a bright star isn’t with us anymore, and the sky will be a darker place without her in it.
I’m going to close with the poem I read at my grandma’s funeral years ago, by Mary Elizabeth Frye. It makes me cry every time but I think it’s beautiful:
Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there, I do not sleep,
I am a thousand winds that blow
I am the diamond glints on snow
I am the sunlight on ripened grain
I am the gentle Autumn rain
When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quite birds in circled flight
I am the soft stars that shine at night
Do not stand at my grave and cry
I am not there, I did not die
Rest in peace, Katy. You may be gone, but you will never be forgotten x
I chose this picture for today because it was taken in one of the most peaceful places I’ve been, Taliwas in Borneo.