The loss of some people seems to hit harder than others. Last Thursday, the first day we had all that snow, was the funeral of my neighbour - let's call him Jack.
Jack was a retired farmer who bred and trained sheepdogs. He carved walking sticks from hedgerow cuttings. He loved to sing. He was always cheerful, steadfast, rosy-cheeked, always had a twinkle in his eye that spoke of his love for life. As one of my other neighbours said, 'He was one of those people you never heard a bad word about'.
A couple of weeks ago, he lost a brief, brutal battle with cancer, and last Thursday amidst the snow, he was buried.
I didn't really know him very well, we were neighbours, not really friends. We socialised a little, but we never sat together sharing confidences. Yet I find myself thinking about him, mourning his loss. I hear a tractor coming up the lane and look to see if it's Jack so I can wave, and then I remember. I feel for his family and wish there was something I could do to comfort them.
The world seems emptier tonight knowing Jack is no longer in it. He really was one of the good guys and I miss him.