Black masked, weighed down by grey grief,
We carried you into the church
To be wrung out of our sodden farewells.
But you had already gone.
It was a slow journey to that sombre altar.
In the last years the traces that bound us
Stretched and frayed
As Nature’s cruelty took hold.
We had already said the longest of goodbyes
While your mind darkened and your hands stilled.
There was time enough to remember happier days
Surrounded by grandchildren,
Bustling in a kitchen warmed by the smells of baking.
In that same kitchen you tended to us,
Your children, with the food of love.
Through laughter, anger and tears,
You were our constant consolation.
Your body spent, drained of the devotion
That bathed us all our lives,
You have departed this love-dimmed world.
But your star shines on
In every one of our hearts.