The tragic and sudden death of a young man who – to all outward appearances, had so much to live for – has made today about recalibrating a sense of perspective, and counting blessings. Seeing the pain caused to a loved one through the loss of a friend, is a sharp reminder that so much of what worries me is utterly trivial, and that I have taken for granted so much of what really matters.
Derek Mahon’s poem Leaves contains the following lines :
It is autumn, and dead leaves
On their way to the river
Scratch like birds at the windows
Or tick on the road.
Somewhere there is an afterlife
Of dead leaves,
A stadium filled with an infinite
Rustling and sighing.
Somewhere in the heaven
Of lost futures
The lives we might have led
Have found their own fulfilment.
There is a message of hope in the idea that the lives that we might have led are being fulfilled in some other dimension; that a tragic ending in the here and now might not be the end of the story. It is my hope that those currently struggling to make sense of today’s events, might at least find some comfort in that.