So the day has come when we consecrate Rosie’s gravestone. It’s the last of a long line of emotional tasks that we as a family are mandated to do in this first year since our darling Ro died. I’m not really sure how I will deal with the ceremony. I know there will be many people there. I know that we have the support of many friends and family from far and wide.
I know it’s going to be overwhelming; but I know that it’s a necessary ceremony. I’m not talking from a religious perspective, but from a cathartic one. There are a great many people who loved and cared for Rosie, and a great many more who were touched by her. Many of those people will be there today and will be most welcome.
This morning I’m alone at home. Natalie and Joseph have had a sleepover with my parents giving me an opportunity to have a lie in. The only problem is that there are too many things to do to take advantage of a lie in! I’ve spent the first part of the morning going through photos of Rosie to be used on the new Secondary1st website. On the surface, to the outside world, I am getting on just fine. But then when I stop I realise that perhaps I’m not so fine. Of course I’m not, Rosie isn’t here.
Last night I spent a wonderful evening with one of my oldest friends and his adorable wife. He’s a tour guide. He was telling me that at significant points on his trips he tells his young tourees (is that a word?) to put down their cameras. Why? Because he wants them to understand that their memories aren’t what they record on their camera phones but what they absorb with their own eyes.
Going through our photos I feel slightly detached from the memories. Yes I was there, and yes I took most of the photos. But my memories of Rosie, together with the children, are far richer than any photo could convey. And that’s how today feels. Yes we will place a stone on her grave. And yes it records the salient details of who she was and who misses her. But it is really just a snapshot of a rich, beautiful, incredibly important life. The impact she has made on hundreds of lives in myriad different ways is impossible to capture. But I know that she will live on forever in those many memories.