It’s tricky to find the right title for this one. This January has been affected by new arrivals, and an unexpected departure.
Many of my colleagues came back to work on 8 January, to the news that one, K, who also worked in education, had died the previous weekend. K had beaten cancer once, but it came back over 2006. She worked right up to late November, and wanted to be treated like everyone else.
We also came back to news of two babies, one born to a colleague now on maternity leave, the other to the wife of a colleague who works in Aberdeen. In the last few days, we’ve also heard about the arrival of a second child for friends of ours down south.
It’s a strange feeling, particularly finding out that this second child was born the same day that K died. We know that people are born and people die, daily, even every minute – we’re perhaps just not reminded of it so clearly.
This particular week is seen as one of the least cheerful in the calendar – post-Christmas blues, not yet pay day etc. I’m grateful at least that there is new life to encourage us at this time.
The order of service from K’s funeral also included verses which suggested that we should look forward – new arrivals help us do that, but it proves more of a challenge to work out how we look forward when someone is essentially missing from parts of our lives.