July 20, 2007 GMT
Ashes to ashes

My head is scrambled and my emotions are in tatters! The numbers present at the crematorium were staggering, and so many people attended the wake. It was heart rending to meet friends of Cai’s who’d only just found out. What a nightmare, get back off holiday to meet news like that. So many I didn’t get a chance to talk to and so many I could find no words for. Thank you, to all of you; for the tears, the hugs, your looks of sorrow or devastation. Thank you for showing up; or your thoughts, if you couldn’t make it. Most of all I’d like to thank everyone whoever meet Cai and shared in his life. It was a great life! Maybe short, but great all the same. Very few people have the opportunities to experience so much, in such a short time. And I’ll be eternally grateful I got to share so much of it with him. Here's a photo of us two doing fire poi back to back.

I can’t remember the person’s name, a woman I think was called Julie, gave the nicest memory I could have. She is agoraphobic and was talking to Cai about the travels he’d done abroad. He told her all about our proposed trip and that I’d ridden my bike around Turkey last year. She was really jealous, saying how she’d love to visit Turkey. The way I remember her relating Cai’s words was, something like, “well go on then, don’t be an old lady…go and do it”. Despite her agoraphobia, she did! She went to Turkey and achieved something she never thought she would do. Not only that, she came to the crematorium alone, on the bus and also made the wake at Hendre hall. I didn’t get to talk to her again, but it was the topic of many conversations I had. Thank you so much for that memory! It is wonderful to find how special my son was to people. I wish I could meet you all.

Funerals do funny things to people, all too often the biggest fuss is made by those who’ve no reason for it. Seeing people upset is expected; but acting as if the deceased was their closest and dearest can be hard to stomach. Am I being too cynical? Maybe guilt is the bitterest pill to swallow! Maybe death is good for bringing people together, it certainly seems to allow people to forget differences between them. Shame it has to take death to achieve, but better than never, eh? Cai certainly didn’t hold with harbouring bad feelings, a true advocate of the "live and let live" philosophy. So thanks for anyone who shared their grief, even if thats all they shared.

Another thing said to me concerned Cai's idealistic enthusiasm. More importantly, it recognised that Cai will not have to endure getting his idealism kicked out of him by our society. He was optimistic, but not always. At a very young was pessimism endured and overcome. He was only about 6 yrs old when he worried about our planet’s future, seeing no escape from our apparent doom; all due to my truthful answers to a constant torrent of questions. He was all gloom and doom over it for some time. I think he always carried a little of that despair, deep down; but carried it he did, and learnt he could make a difference. All I ever saw in his last years was a greater and greater resolve to get somewhere and make a difference. Well, he got many places and made a lot of difference to those he meet.

Now the organising is over and a new life must begin. Never again will I get to hug Cai, never again will I hear his voice, wash his clothes, cook him a meal…….. Shit, this just isn’t fair; a life without Cai isn’t really much of a life!

Posted by Leslie Kay at July 20, 2007 06:51 PM GMT

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