Saturday, 2 November 2013

Time to Remember

It's been a while. I thought that when the balmy  days of our wonderful summer ended,  I'd find time to sit down and share some words and  photos from this corner of Ireland.

But news came which made my heart heavy. A friend, who had fought bravely with cancer,  wrote a farewell message that her time was limited. As I grappled with that sad news, and struggled with words to express my feelings, an old school friend also died.  Both women left heartbroken families and friends. Both, I think, would have been surprised by the outpouring of grief which their deaths caused, demonstrating how they had touched the hearts of many.

Suddenly, I found myself thinking about death in a way I hadn't previously.  Although I  lost both my parents at a relatively young age,  the death of a parent is something which we sadly expect to  happen in the natural cycle of life.  I took inspiration from their lives and hope that they would be proud of the life I have carved out.
I missed them most when my son was born, sad that they never saw their grandson,  sad that he never got to listen to my father telling stories or taste my mother's delicious home baking.  Now, when I work in the garden, bake bread, or put seed out for the wild birds in winter, I  think of them doing similar everyday tasks, of a circle continuing.

However,  when a contemporary is taken from this world, with so much of their lives ahead of them, it stops you in your tracks. I still consider myself 'young', take it for granted that I'll have many years ahead of me. But, unless I'm to receive the President's cheque, the reality is I've more of my life behind me than in front of me. It's a sobering thought as there are still so many things that I want to do, so many places I want to visit, so many books I want to read. Most of all, however, I want to see my son grow up,  find his place in the world, and hopefully fall in love and have children.  He's nearly as old as I was when my mother died and will be heading to college next year, so I feel I have at least set him on the road to adulthood,  hopefully well equipped for whatever life throws his way.
I've also resolved to pick up the phone, type that email or send that card to friends that I mightn't have been  in touch with as regularly as I should be.
For who knows who next will 'fall in love with death in October coloured weather'.


  1. First of all your photos are so beautiful and poignant at this time of year as well as the relationship to your post.
    Secondly, I can understand your thoughts, they are very familiar to me. We lost a 29 year old father of two in our community this past week, due to a car crash close to here and although I didn't know the lad, I now know through my own sisters death 2 years ago the hearts hip this young family will have to endure.
    My thoughts are with you and your son is a lucky person to have you and all you are in his life.

  2. Beautiful photos capturing autumn so well. Life is indeed a circle.

  3. I feel so sad for you Mairead. It is very tough to lose friends and I think this time of year somehow makes it worse. I'm sorry too that you lost your parents so young and that they never knew your son. The loss (or potential loss) of parents is very much on my mind at the moment, as both of mine (elderly now) are unwell. I love the quote at the end of your post - but don't recognise it. Where does it come from? Your photos are wonderful. There is something magical about rooks wheeling in the sky - it was one of the first things I fell in love with here, and one of the things I will miss when we ever leave this house. I love the picture of the trees, and sunset and the sheep, it is really beautiful.

    1. The quote is from the Patrick Kavanagh poem 'In Memory of My Father'. It must be worrying being far away from your parents at this time but at least transport and communication is so much better than it was years ago and you are just a short journey away.

    2. Thanks for the source of the quote. Yes, it is worrying, but as you say, it's much easier to come and go, and there's the phone and emails in between. Thanks, Mairead

  4. Beautiful photographs but I was very sorry to read this post.


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