Photo Credit: Flickr/Rejik

Fresh Memories Photo Credit: Flickr/Rejik

Last week, my husband and I attended the funeral and memorial of our neighbours’ daughter. She was only 23. I don’t have to tell you how devastated the parents feel at losing their only child.

The funeral/memorial was attended by well over 300 people, mostly by Christina’s friends from school and university. David and I, together with her parents’ friends, were the oldest in this congregation. It felt so wrong to see so many young people gathered on this sad occasion.

Around 10 of her friends, including her boyfriend shared their memories of her. There was much laughter and also many tears as we reflected on a life taken away far too soon.

Apart from the poignancy and sadness of the occasion, what struck me was how articulate and eloquent these young people were. They all spoke so beautifully, but above all the words and phrases they chose to describe this larger than life young woman and to express their feelings for her astounded me. There has been so much talk recently in the media about how inarticulate this generation of young people are. With their incessant use of  text messaging, snapchat, What’s App and so on, they have forgotten the art of expression either in verbal or written form.

Well, this group of young people proved just how wrong the media are. I was astounded by what I heard. One particular person who stood out for me was a young man who quickly penned a poem to Christina whilst waiting for his flight on his way to the UK from Australia.

This is Adam Greaves’s poem to Christina.

There’s a place between here and forever
Where a lilac shadows the Grove
Where junipers blossom and flourish
And beauty never fades or grows old

It’s a land of ever summer
Where rainfall never goes
And the trees are as old as the stars
Where beauty never fades or grows old

Now when the moon fades to black
And the sun falls out of the sky
And the birds fly East in the winter
And the rivers all run dry

I hope you’ve found peace in this grotto
Where you travelled tenacious and bold
Where some day I’ll come and meet you
Where beauty never fades or grows old

I don’t think that as a 23-year old I would have had the maturity or the eloquence to write such a poem in haste or at leisure. The words are simple and yet so powerful and poignant. I don’t have to tell you that many tears were shed after listening to that poem.

Christina, you got more mileage out of your young Life than Life could ever have got out of you. Life had no choice but to make a quiet exit. You are a remarkable woman and will never be forgotten. It was a pleasure to have known you albeit for all too brief a time.

Thank you for reading.

Ciao for now

Shanthi

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