I’ve been consoled by the fact that you were pretty healthy and fit right up until the night before you died. We all know that you would have hated to be bedridden or in hospital for weeks on end. I guess there’s an element of selfishness in that too: we would have hated to see you like that. I wish my flight could have gotten to Brisbane an hour or two earlier so I could have said goodbye. With the rest of our family, I did get to spend some time with you soon after, and I think maybe you were watching us all in that room, just being together and trying to understand what had happened. You looked beautiful, the skin on your face smooth and relaxed.
You had had a really busy weekend (but that wasn’t that unusual for you), out robbing your bees and passing on those skills to your son-in-law. Then you went to a friend’s place to help with the same task. So when we got to your place there was a huge tub of honey waiting and we each took some home with us. And now I think of you every day at breakfast.
You didn’t agree with all my choices of how to live my life, but through your advice and exhortations, I knew that you cared a lot. I know I was a frustration to you (and probably not the only one) but you loved us all anyway. Family was so important to you, and it is to me too. This Easter felt a lot like previous family get-togethers, like yours and Grandma’s 50th wedding anniversary five years ago, or the milestone birthdays every now and then. The difference this Easter was that you weren’t there any more. We made sure your funeral was a celebration of your life, and we put on a good party afterwards. You would have enjoyed that.