This is going to sound morbid but I need to say it anyway.
Today I went to the cemetery to spend time tending my brother’s grave. It’s 27 years next month since we lost him and the stone is looking quite weathered, the mud is not as fertile as it once was and the roots keep choking our attempts at planting flowers.
Incidentally if anyone knows how to clean marble effectively without sand blasting it, feel free to share!
I always talk to him whilst I’m tending to the grave. Just a general catch up on all the things I’ve been up to since I last visited. I was lamenting over my aching heart and missing someone when I looked around me and really looked at what was surrounding me.
When my brother was laid to rest the hill adjacent to his grave was empty. Now the hill is full of headstones. I was surrounded by people who would all love a second chance at life and there I was feeling sorry for myself.
I looked at the headstone and the inscription my Mum had penned through teary eyes as a lasting memorial to my brother. A little boy who never got to experience much in the way of life.
I decided to stop feeling sorry for myself and head home but to avoid the traffic jam that was piling up I would stop off via the crematorium see my Nan and Grandad. Well if you’re going to be morbid do it all at once.
I found something quite beautiful, something I must have walked past a dozen times and never noticed before.
A fountain and pond in a garden of remembrance with a white daffodil lined pathway running up to it. The thing that caught my eye about it was the stone statue of Peter Pan sitting by what looked like a gate on the edge of a walled flower garden. I couldn’t help but walk up the path to have a better look. As I got nearer I noticed the stone toadstools with little brass plaques on them.
The plaques were memorials to children. It was the children remembrance garden with Peter Pan watching over the lost boys and girls. I quickly felt like a fraud standing and admiring the beautiful flowers so left and found the plaques I was looking for.
I haven’t been able to get that pond and the statue out of my mind since. It really was moving. I’m sure the idea has been a small comfort to many a grieving parent.
When we were looking for a resting place for my brother we chose where he is as it overlooked a football ground. When the trees are bare you can see more of the pitch and when they are playing the sound from the ground fills the air. My Dad has refereed there and felt comfort in knowing my brother was watching. Small comfort in such a dark time, but a comfort none the less.
The Peter Pan statue gave me an idea for a story and as soon as I got home I began writing. I might even enter it in a writing competition as there are quite a few closing this month. Sometimes even the most painful of life’s experiences can give you writing ideas.