- to find yourself bothered by someone’s death more than you would have expected, as if you assumed they would always be part of the landscape, like a lighthouse you could pass by for years until the night it suddenly goes dark, leaving you with one less landmark to navigate by—still able to find your bearings, but feeling all that much more adrift.
When Bernard Threlfo passed away, he did so with his room packed with family. He did have a big family, and when Death arrived, he had to elbow his way through the throng of relatives to take hold of Bernard’s soul.
Bernard was much loved. His grandchildren had often thought their grandfather would live forever. Bernard had been very resilient. He’d been ill on several occasions and had fought Death off each time. It wasn’t as if Death minded as he had plenty to do and he knew sooner rather than later he’d be back.
For the grandchildren, they saw his passing as creating a great hole in their lives. They had loved visiting him, hearing his stories and finding in their grandfather someone interested in their own stories. Who would listen to them now they wondered?
The eldest grandchild was Jack. He sat quietly in the corner of the room as around him family began to reminisce about their father, brother, uncle and grandfather. Jack had spent a lot of time with his grandfather and during this time sat remembering each of those times. Their building of his first ever billy-cart, their excursions to Bunnings to buy the equipment they needed for one job or other and the wonderful stories Grandfather told him of when he was a kid and things he got up to.
As Death gathered Bernard’s soul and carried him from the room the sight of the boy deep in thought touched him. Bernard’s soul looked across at his grandson, and a smile came across his face as he knew what his grandson was remembering.
Death paused for a moment for Bernard’s soul to take in the room before taking him into his eternity.
Death never ceased to be amazed by the depth of love and affection the living had for the dead. They were never given up lightly.
Death knew the living would celebrate Bernard’s life, it’s what they did he had learned. Good luck to them he thought, best be remembered for all the good you did rather than be spat upon as he’d seen happen a few times.
He saw Jack look up as if seeing his departing Grandfather and smiled his deathly smile at the young grandson before slipping Bernard off into the hereafter.