On the day that I went to collect Matthew’s ashes from the crematorium, a good friend came along with me to hold my hand and to drive me home afterwards.
My friend had bought a small bunch of daffodils with her which she had purchased a couple of days beforehand. After we met with the lady in the office we took the ashes and sat in the sun. At the crematorium they have rows and rows of beautiful little trees planted with plaques at the base – many people put their loved ones ashes there.
So we found a bench in the gardens and just for a while. I noticed an old man sitting on a bench not far from us, and he appeared to be ‘visiting’ a loved one – I think his wife. He looked like he came regularly and just sat by the little tree. It’s weird, but I felt some kind ok strange connection to this man – we were both in that place because someone we love had died.
I asked my friend if I could have the flowers. I picked them up and went and sat next to the man.
“These are for you.”
He didn’t really look at me.
I sat for a few seconds then went back to the other bench.
I watched the old man out of the corner of my eye. He got up and walked away, leaving the daffodils on the bench. I wasn’t sure why, but I figured that he either didn’t want them, didn’t understand that I wanted him to take them, or he had left them for someone else. I didn’t mind.
Then he came back. He had gone to fill a little container with water, which he placed at the base of his tree. He put the flowers in the container and smiled. He returned to his bench and sat.