Follow @UrFhasaidh Everyone but undergrads knows it is bad form to talk in the library. During my early days as a student in Trinity College I took to sitting up on the fifth floor of the Berkley Library, where the theology books and those on the history of religion were to be found. We called … Continue reading Shhh!
That’s fighting talk, that is. Growing up where I did I’ve heard this language a lot. It’s the battle cry of housing estate vigilante justice, “You just tell me where he lives, and I’ll march right round there and see what he has to say for himself. By God, he’ll listen to what I have to say.”
Fifty isn’t old. She always insisted that she wasn’t our mother, but sometimes she sort of was. She has always been great to have on side, and has been one of those folk you had to work at to keep sweet. She never put up with half-hearted attempts at friendship. It seemed at times that she was hard work, but in a good way. She never talked down the people around her. Condescension wasn’t her thing. She wanted everyone to be at her level, which was grand until she got her doctorate.
Word came to me that you died peacefully, that you slipped away in your sleep. Chrissie, I hope that’s true. In those moments I hope you were content, and that you had around you all the people and voices you needed to see and hear, and I hope you felt the love of those who were far away.
Let’s make this real with a question: Have you ever held a dead child? Not just seen one in a photograph, but really held the corpse of an infant? Some reading this may well have done. That child may have been their own, and to them I can say only that I am sorry, and – by God – my heart goes out to you.
Now I catch myself wondering about our little rituals of hope; those routine things that we do to invest in the future and safeguard us from the past or our nightmares.
“We should kill them all,” as disturbing and spiteful as such words are, are all too frequently the expressions of people – like us – who are bewildered and frightened by the sense of powerlessness we have all been made feel.
“Letting you go has always been difficult.” I haven’t seen her since 1991, and still she remains one of the growing number of people for whom my desire to see again and hold close knows no limit. She told me stories, she tucked me into bed at night, fretted over me when I was sick, … Continue reading Open Your Hand and Let Go