On Monday we said our final goodbyes to Tom’s mum, Rita, who died at the end of January after what had been a very distressing four months. I wrote this poem to banish some of the most painful images and to remember my mother-in-law instead in snapshot moments when she had seemed so full of life. I showed the poem to Tom who asked for it to be printed on the Order of Service for Rita’s funeral, but was asked by Ken, my father-in-law, to read it instead. Rita, it was my great privilege to do this one last thing for you.
Be carefree. A child again.
A Devon maid, plucked from London,
dabbling bare feet in the dappled Dart.
Be glad at heart. A bride beside
a steadfast groom. A marriage spanning
sixty years, paper to diamond.
Be supple and strong. A champion,
a huntress in white, your name
glowing gold in the Sussex sun.
All pain is gone. There is nothing
to fear. Be a breath in the wind.
Be the warmth in the air.
Be at peace now.
© Christine Stovell
The photograph above is a lovely moment captured by photographer Alexa Loy at Rose and Si’s wedding.