I spent the day today with my Goddaughter, whose father died a week ago. She is eleven years old.
I cried. She was very brave. She looked like an adult; I felt like a child.
I told her a story. I told her about a great friend of her father's and mine, Juliet, who died in a car accident when she was just twenty-nine. She, like him, had flaming red hair and an irrepressible spirit.
(For more about Juliet, read my post: When the Wine Witch Wins)
About ten years after Juliet died, I was in the passenger seat of a car being driven, by my husband, through a torrential thunder storm in South Africa.
I was dozing and saw, vividly, my friend Juliet, who yelled at me to wake up.
In the poor visibility Mr SM was turning the wrong way down a dual carriageway. If I hadn't woken up we, and the two small children in the back, would have died.
I told my Goddaughter that, because of that experience, I truly believe that those we love look after us after they die. They become our Guardian Angels.
I hope she doesn't think I'm totally barking.
I always used to be suspicious of people who quoted Rumi - the 13th century Persian poet. His quotations usually crop up on Facebook or Instagram over yet another ghastly shot of a celebrity, in an improbable yoga pose, on a beach bathed by the setting sun. But then I found this:
Goodbyes are only for those who love with their eyes.
Because for those who love with heart and soul there is no such thing as separation.
Thank you so much for all your incredibly thoughtful messages and e-mails over the last few days. They've helped more than I can say. So sorry for not responding to you all individually.
Love SM x