Saturday, 15 June 2013

For Father's Day

                                     Midnight Caller

I came to see you tonight, dad. I wanted to come after dark, in the small hours, when the rest of the world is asleep. I wanted it to be just you and me.

I climbed over the gates by the bus stop and found my way through the maze of footpaths and lawns by moonlight. Three rows up from the big white stone angel. Six plots along from the footpath and here you are.

Mum chose the wording on your headstone.

To be remembered in our hearts is not to die.

I suppose that's profound enough to satisfy both believers and atheists. What were you, dad? I never got round to asking did I?

I think you must be pleased with our choice. Just plain black marble with gold lettering. No fancy shapes. Just rectangular with a bevelled edge.

It's strange. You only notice all the other graves when you're trying not to stumble into them in the dark. I didn't realise there were so many to choose from. Arched, pointed arch, Gothic, with cross, without cross, plain cross, Celtic cross, praying angel, weeping angel. Who thinks them all up?

I noticed there were no flowers. Usually there are several bunches and wreaths lying around. People bring them on birthdays and anniversaries don't they? But there are none here now. Maybe the cemetery staff have cleared them up. Or maybe no-one cares.

And the inscriptions. I didn't stop to read any but there must be a lucrative business writing those.

So where was I? Oh yes. How does that poem go? I can't remember who wrote it.

Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there, I do not sleep.

Well, I am standing at your grave, dad, and I am weeping. And I just wanted to say.
                                         I love You.

4 comments:

  1. That's so sad, Keith.

    I'm lucky that I'll be able to speak to my dad tomorrow, even if it is just be phone.

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  2. That's lovely, Keith. Nearly 40 years without my dad and I still feel the sadness on Father's Day x

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  3. This is very moving, Keith. I lost my father just before my first wedding thirty years ago and am still sad he never saw my children and grandchildren.

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  4. I hope you had a good chat with him, Patsy.

    Like me, you must have some happy memories, Teresa.

    It's one of the saddest things isn't it, Wendy?

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