June 26th, 2013…
I have had a rough day in many ways, played out against a backdrop of sheer beauty. The contrast between the events and the landscape served only to throw the lows into even sharper contrast and, while losing myself in the healing of home I have wept for loss.
The day began beautifully and, worries aside, held the promise of being glorious. A phone call from my mother put an end to that, with the news of the passing of a much loved uncle, missed for a very long time.
It hurt, but did not matter that I had not seen him in far too long. There has been a harsh path of separation from many things I loved. He understood that. I spoke to him a very short while ago. We had said goodbye, though the word was not spoken.
It was he, when I was young, who sent that first anonymous bouquet on stage to the young dancer. Yellow tulips… I will not forget. It was he who was always there with odd, unconventional wisdom for the teenager. Who brought blue glass beads from Egypt for the little girl, and who took that same little girl’s sons to their first pantomime so many years later.
I think it is fair to say he was the only person I have ever known who loved unconditionally and without judgement. Truly loved. In spite of faults and flaws.. for he knew them too well in himself and so recognised them in others. In spite of his own insecurities and fractured heart… or perhaps because of them.
Yet he was overlooked by many. His stammer was pronounced, his social skills damaged, his surfaces scarred. He was the type of person many would choose to ignore, and many did. He was not an easy person for anyone with any claim to social grace to accept, he conformed only to his own inner being. He could be painfully direct. But I never knew him to judge anyone harshly, even seeing the flaws.
I have known him called an embarrassment and a disappointment. For much of his life he seemed an outcast.
It is easy to idealise those who have passed. I do not do so now. I mean it when I say that he was one of the kindest, gentlest, most genuinely loving people I have ever been blessed to know. His heart was among the best.
So tonight I smile and weep at his memory. He had suffered and it was time. That does not ease the sense of loss for those who loved him, of course… but the grieving is for ourselves not for his release.
I mourn too for the broken, fractured families that cannot heal from old wounds and make so many feel homeless amongst their own kin. For the hearts that cannot find forgiveness and feed bitterness to their children like milk, perpetuating the pain. I mourn for every child that has ever felt itself abandoned, unwanted, worthless… for every child that has reached adulthood hurt and ashamed of its own existence.
But I weep for a man with the heart of a child who, in spite of all, knew how to Love