A friend died recently. He was too young, too kind and too full of life for it to seem feasible. But death happens to us all.
In the subsequent days, nature has brought him to mind in many ways: the first snowdrop of the year, pushing its way through the soil on the day of his funeral, reminding me of his pure joy in experiencing the world – a childlike innocence despite (or because of) his wisdom and experience; the rain on blades of grass making me think of how much he appreciated the smallest things; the flock of ravens swirling in the sky as he was buried; the glint of sun shining through the clouds as I walked out the gates afterwards.
My friend loved nature. Perhaps this is why the reminders are everywhere: perhaps it is just a natural part of grieving. But it is easier to believe he is still here, if in a changed state, when I see a glint of sunshine or a sign of new life emerging.
The late (and missed) Terry Pratchett said, “A man is not dead while his name is still spoken.” Mungo Leir’s name will be spoken by those who knew him for a long time. I hope his words will also be shared by those who weren’t lucky enough to meet him. He was a beautiful writer and even though he is no longer here to talk to, his words live on – as does his recipe for the perfect Espresso Martini. I suspect I am far from the only one who will remember him whenever I drink one from now on.