By Bernie Bell
It was early October, 1974. Friend Anny and I had caught a series of trains from Bradford, to Aberystwyth. We then went and waited at the bus stop, for the bus to Lampeter. There were two lads there, who got talking with us. Turned out they were starting their second year at Uni, as we were starting our first. They were Paul and Dave. We went across the road to the pub, to have a drink until the bus was ready to leave. They said to meet them in the Union bar that evening. We did so, and became part of a group of friends, who were our friends, right through our time at University, and on, into our adult lives.
Fast forward 40-odd years, and, yesterday, I was contacted by one of that group of friends, with whom I have kept in touch all these years, to let me know that another one of that group, has died. Death, is a fact of life – it’s something that happens – we know that it happens, but, each time it happens, right there, to someone we know, it’s hard to take. And, as we get older, it happens to more people that we know, as we get to know more people, and the people we know, get older too, but, still – it’s mortality, right there, in front of you, and it can be hard to deal with it.
It can sometimes feel like it’s too much to take – so many of my family have passed – I’m the last of 5 siblings. And friends, too, have passed, and are passing from this life – including the non-human ones.
Fact is, it’s shaken me up, more that I would have thought it would. There are other folk, whose passing would touch my life, and even my past life memories, more than Dave, but still – he was one of a group, at a time – and a significant time – a major time in our lives. Mainly, it’s that it brings back so many memories of those times – good times they were, too. There’s now a gap, where Dave should be.
I feel ruffled and confused.
That will pass.
We have to try to take it on board, and get on with the lives that we have left, to live. I’ve found that to be the only way to deal with the fact of all those who are no longer ‘here’, tangible, huggable.
Here’s what I’ve been thinking……………Thursday – Mike has a serious car accident – but isn’t hurt – Thank All The Powers That Be! Saturday – a fine day spent gardening, which helped Mike’s state of mind to settle. Sunday – a bracing, and beautiful visit to the Ring of Brodgar. Tuesday – news of Dave’s passing.
Make the most of it – appreciate every moment and every good time, and every friend you meet. And….do take the time to make the memories.
On a brighter note…….
Mrs. Harrier was hovering over the left hand side of the garden. Very intent on something – I could see her markings very clearly, and I thought —– the things in our garden, right now – golden crocuses, snowdrops, Aubers – who is a very smart, aristocratic pheasant (Aubers is short for Aubrey), and Mrs Aubers. This will probably mean Junior Aubers – does, most years – new life. A big Hoodie (crow) on the bird table, Mrs Harrier. All the wee birds – Sparrers/scrapping, Starlings/squabbling.
The pics are a bit blurry – but so am I!