It had been one week since her husband passed away when she went to the cemetery to visit him. She wanted to go earlier but she had been too unwell. She was tired from the effort of walking and was grateful she could rest on the seat of her walker. She made her way slowly to her husband’s grave. In the distance, she could hear the sound of someone sobbing.
She sat looking at the headstone and replayed in her mind memories of when they were together. It was not her first experience of death, having lost her two year old daughter many years ago.
She recalled many weeks spent at the cemetery mourning her loss. But then one night she had a dream of angels in a line descending from the sky, each one bearing a candle in their hand. Then she saw her daughter but her candle was not alight. She rushed towards her daughter when she heard a voice telling her that it was her tears that kept her daughter’s candle from burning.
What the heck was going on? I was in a senior leadership meeting and the receptionist asked me to come over urgently as there was a man shouting at the front desk. I went over to see what was going on and was met by a man in a leather jacket. I took him into the side room so that we could talk in private. It took me a few seconds to realise that he was hearing impaired, and that’s why he was talking loudly. I raised my own voice in order for him to hear me properly. He said that he had lost his hearing because of work, back in the day they weren’t as careful with hearing protection.
He told me that he we had looked after his wife last month, and told me her name. It took me about ten seconds before I remembered who she was. Oh right, I think I met you when your wife was with us. Sorry that I didn’t recognise you. I remember your wife really well, she was a nice lady. Two days before she died, she had visited another patient that she had met in hospital. Even though your wife was so unwell and so short of breath, she had made a big effort to make the other lady feel better by welcoming her to hospice, that was really nice of her. He said that was what she had always been like, always helping people out.
He said that the reason he had come in was to tell us about something that he had organised in honour of his wife. In her memory he had organised a motorbike rally, from here in Auckland, to his wife’s favourite mountain. People who joined would donate, with the proceeds going towards our hospice, in memory of his wife. 120 people had already signed up and he wanted us to know, as the family didn’t have much money, but wanted to donate something in order to help others in the community. That’s what his wife had been all about, always thinking of others.
I thanked him for thinking of us and for organising the fundraising effort. Your wife was a kind lady, and she would be proud of your effort. Safe riding.