Today the dogs and I walked in mizzle, the West Country term for a mixture of mist and drizzle, a drizzle that is deceptively heavy. Not a day for the heavy of heart. To counter the mizzle, I might have posted something bright and cheery or amusing or musical, had the heaviness of heart not been mine.
Two nights ago my niece died, thirteen months - almost - to the day since one of her older brothers died. She was just 49, as was he. She had two children, as had he, although hers are younger, still at school. There are other parallels too.
It is very hard for my brother to lose two children in such a short space of time; it is not the natural order of things. I can only begin to guess at the pain that those who were closest to her are feeling; I do, however, know what it is to lose, within six months of each other, two people whom I had once loved dearly. The shock and pain one is feeling from the first loss is still so palpable and raw that the mind and body put up a kind of shield against the shock and pain of the second loss. It can take months, years, for the second grief to work its way into one's consciousness, demanding to be acknowledged - and set free.
I cannot say too much of the circumstances and there is to be a post mortem but whatever emerges is her story and belongs to her loved ones.
As for me, I am grappling with something. The old hippie in me has always wanted to believe that love is the glue that holds everything and everyone together and that if there is enough love . . . but, sometimes, even all the love in the world is not enough. It is the hard, true thing that we all have to learn, sooner or later, but we also have to learn to keep on loving right through the pain because not to love would be unthinkable.