There’s one thing of which you can be sure. One way or another, the news will come. And one day — perhaps a fine day, perhaps a sunny day in the summertime, perhaps a winter’s morning clouded by ulterior event, perhaps a springtime evening when one is far away in place and concern, perhaps in the red sky of a twilight with plenty of warning, perhaps in the red of morning sunrise with no warning at all — it will come to you at last.
Yes, the curtain has come down. Nan died in the early hours of this morning. She was at comfort and at peace, as she had been, by and large, for the prior several days. My father rang in tears to tell me it was so — I enquired after the information just cited, let him tend back to my mother, who at that point was skirting the mortal boundaries of her own fight with COVID not thirty feet from where her own mother had just passed, and opened the curtains in the den to let the sunlight in. I was overwhelmed by a feeling of peace. My lady entered the room, for me to inform her of what had happened; we held each other long, she in stoic tearful silence, while my eyes had edged tears about them only, no even flow as yet. We sat and tried to make order of our feelings.
I told my lady later in the day that I am more pleased than I could possibly be otherwise that she met and got to know nan, for not only was it of great sentimental importance to me that she do so, but she could only truly understand me having known nan, who was my first friend, my best in many ways, if a best friend is to be gauged as someone who lights one’s soul and yields path to you for their own soul to be lit in kind, if a best friend is to be defined as that person whose bearing, conduct and encouragement allows more of one’s inner being to confidently emerge, at first only in the presence of the friend and thereafter in the undifferentiated company of the world. I suddenly was brought to bear with the complexity of my lady’s feeling — she loved nan, and nan loved her, and yet they had only had a year, and a compromised one at that, to enjoy one another’s company. My lady’s inheritance from nan’s passing is…