Thursday, April 02, 2015

A PILGRIMAGE..

And so the responsibility falls to those who are left. And there are only a couple of us who can carry it out. I suppose it happens to families all the time - loved ones pass away and their places of rest are tended to by living relatives.   

And so yesterday my recently retired eldest son and I made the pilgrimage from here in deepest Kent to a seriously remote churchyard in the depths of the Berkshire countryside.   We found the family grave, where the remains of my grandparents, aunts and my father`s ashes rest in peace;  we tidied up as best we could and left some flowers, promising to do a more thorough job next time.

We then drove further down south to my boyhood village of Hythe on the western shore of Southampton Water and visited the spot where my mother`s ashes were scattered in a place where she spent her happiest years.  Again, we left some spring flowers and paused, as we had done earlier in the day, in memory of loved ones, lost but never forgotten.

I think we both felt the responsibility, the urge even, to honour the memory of our forebears but we did so not out of any sense of duty or compulsion, but simply because we wanted to, because it seems the right thing to do and maybe because we ourselves might wish to be remembered in the same way.   It was a good `father and son`day, which included an excellent lunch but perhaps for me in particular, each location seemed to engender a kind of inner peace - I felt at ease with myself in those surroundings, recalling the memories of well over half a century made so very special by those dearly departed.


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