Yesterday was my father in law’s birthday.

Or would have been.

To remember his death in April of this year, Mary suggested we took some flowers to a place he loved. I am not really keen on those displays of flowers tied to lamp posts and benches- the ones that droop and rot into a mess of green plastic. But Mary had a much simpler idea.

So we went to a bridge over the River Eachaig, next to the lovely Uig Hall- a fine, still place where the river runs strongly around a meander and over a weir before disappearing towards the Holy Loch then the Clyde and finally the deep blue sea.

We stood in silence on the bridge, Michaela, me, the kids and Mary. That kind of stillness that is enhanced by the gentle noises around, and the feelings of pain and loss within. The whole world folds in for a while.

Then Mary threw her flower, along with a little note, into the river.

Taken by the current it moved off. Followed in line by Michaela’s, William’s and mine. It was unbearably sad, but lovely at the same time.

Emily was last to throw in her flower, and as she was standing nearer to the bank, the current took it around the meander and almost out of sight, before it snagged on the bank- a flash of yellow amongst the floating leaves.

This upset Emily- so much so that she wanted to go and fetch it somehow, although this was not practicable.

For me, this spoke volumes.

The river moves on and by, to a distant destination. But no matter how strong the flow it is hard to let go.

It is right not to let go.

Because blessed are those who mourn…

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