Or the hearse, to be more accurate.
Life goes on, and so does death. My context is to have a tragedy and then keep on helping others through theirs. So today I buried somebody else; another family and different tears. Stories I don't know, and grief that I safely observe without drinking too deeply.
The way we would all rather do grief.
Of course, I haven't just switched off from Rob and his family. His father sent me an email last night, with further kind words about the things I have been trying to do for them, and some of you who were there on Monday have been generous in leaving facebook comments.
George and Elaine, Rob's parents, have a special grief, it seems to me. In addition to losing their only child, they have purposefully arranged for his burial near to their grandchildren - who live with their son's estranged and almost divorced wife. They are old, and will not often get to see their son's grave. They took photos of his final resting place so they have a memory of the spot. Gone his voice on the phone, his visits, his emails, and gone even a chance to pop out and leave flowers and shed a tear for these elderly folk who now mourn their son in absentia.
Just off junction 11A on the M5. Well, I might drop by, I pass that way occasionally.
I was thoughtless to my own mother when I returned on Monday - no, not thoughtless; but I appreciate she needs me to be more communicative, and I was unable to speak. I was unable. Disabled by the day.
People should be. Why? Is not Rob in heaven? Is this not a good thing? Of course; but I grieve not for Rob - not for his state, not for his life with Christ, though perhaps there is a sadness that he has not lived to share his children's growing up; every parent would want that. I grieve for George and Elaine. For his marriage to Ruth which had ended though Ruth always hoped it had not. For his children growing up without their father. For the people from a former church who emailed me such a sad letter that I could not even bear to reply.
I grieve a friendship. A man younger than I. A human being with talent and promise and capable of so much. Gone. And yes, the Lord has a better plan than I, but in my ignorance, I grieve. I miss Rob. Though in recent times we had not been as close as once we were. I grieve that was my fault.
And get back on the horse and watch others do the same thing. It is life. We carry these things, and if we carry them, then we must carry them to the cross. Not alone. Asking for help, for (at the least) a helping hand to bear the burden, and hopefully for one stronger than us to take them from us altogether. In time. If possible - if we can learn to trust and let go.
"Come to me all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest."
O to find rest for my soul.
O to find rest.