I’m not sure I should be writing this post. There are those who are so much more deeply affected by the death of the person I am grieving.
She was a very close friend of a good friend of mine. I had known her for 13 years, but because we lived on different continents I have seen her only three times in the last nine years. Her wedding, a visit to Cape Town, and a lunch in Manchester last year. We didn’t really have much contact in between.
She was terminally ill for some time, and I knew when we last met that it was likely that I would not see her again.
She was a wonderful woman; she was intelligent; she had a fantastic sense of humour; she was optimistic and adventurous; she was open and generous. The world has definitely lost one of its brightest lights.
I find myself wondering whether I have a right to grieve. Her death does not affect my daily life at all. And yet, and yet, as I sit and remember her wide smile and her generosity of spirit I feel tears welling up.
Grief is a strange beast – it seems to be that there is nothing to do but to be true to where I am. To offer thanks that I had the great privilege of knowing this extraordinary woman and allow myself to feel the sense of loss that I feel.
Some hours after I wrote these paragraphs, I sat with my grief as a colleague led a group in noticing the image of God that we had. Almost immediately I saw that God was weeping, as the picture filled out, I saw God was weeping as he held Catherine. And I understood that God too is weeping at a life cut far too short.