In some microscopic detail of my days, you contributed to my present.
Though I rarely knew you, two years at best, memory transported me through time today when, this morning, I discovered you gone. Not only gone, but dust now. Dust, our days long dutiful destiny, but not for you, smashed to ash in the fastest moment. Your words, your work, your honour, your research, all smote in a second in a thoughtless chess move by some blind hand brushing at your wing.
And a baby boy, a year old. And a sister. And 295 nameless others, whose faces wakened the world on forgotten front pages. To no consequence, save lives left behind shattered in the mirrors of memory.
At Hogmanay we drank, danced, laughed. I lead you all through the dark mazes as a crazed native. In my mind I recall you singing Auld Lang Syne, holding your man, whose loss I cannot understand. You knew all the words, you always knew all the words from a foreign script, just as you adored the world and all its people and all its life, you gave everything to know and to share the song. Fireworks blighted the sky in a terrible trembling premonition we were never to know. The next day we scaled Arthur’s Seat and you studied the city, full of yourself as you had earned. And you scanned the land, and planned to give it back.
And you stayed with us in London, and we shared you our city, and you sent me invulnerable words, but they couldn’t be bulletproof.
I wish I’d cradled you when I knew you and coaxed your light. You invented your own magic. You gave your light away for others to carry and someone, some political pawn, stole it, exploded and extinguished it out of the sky. I can only wish that some divine intervention, some mystical palm, would have cradled you down to safety then.
How do we consolidate the fallen? In memory, your glory burns, but fades. In your home land, they believe the soul persists as a ghost if the shell perishes far from its territory. Then I pray, though I pray, that the winds carried you all carefully, gently, that your spirit still warms his heart and strengthens him on. We hold the dust, we won’t let it go.
Two years too late, today, I couldn’t share your welcome home, like your global family did. Though headlined words imprint you more than many, they, the people you touched, carry your name and hold it from fading. They posted condolences to the wall as ‘Welcome Home’, but it took RIP for me to see, to realise JC, it took that for me to see that you are in peace. I hope your husband has also become there. Peace. “May you stay forever young.”