The building in which I work is located next to a private cemetery that overlooks the blue waters of a small bay on Sydney’s south coast. People pay exorbitant fees to be buried there. It is not unusual to look out the window and see multiple black Mercedes limousines and mourners dolled up to the nine in designer suits and dresses.
However, there is one elderly woman that I see every morning as I’m driving down the road to work. She, unlike the typical visitors, wears old, simple dresses and a battered black cardigan. The wrinkles on her face make her look grumpy, but in her eyes I see kindness and vulnerability. I mostly pass her as she waits at the bus stop, but occasionally, when I arrive to work early, I see her at a gravesite in the cemetery, her shoulders hunched as she rests her hand atop the gravestone and looks out over the cemetery to the water. I imagine she is reminiscing about her time with this person, or speaking out loud to them, as if they were the endless sea that she looks upon.
This serves as a reminder to me, of the power of human connection. Sometimes we go about life and take our loved ones for granted, sometimes we go about life not knowing how much we mean to our friends and family, but we all mean something to someone and we all consume a space in the world that no one else can fill.
The deceased had to have known that they were loved, but I’m sure they didn’t imagine that this lady would go to such lengths to feel their presence every day.