Today I witnessed a most moving sight. Two little girls in their Sunday best standing in the driveway of the country church, both about the same height at 8 years old, both with long red hair weaving down their backs and pretty shoes on their feet, hugging each other cheek to cheek, arms wrapped tightly around the other. Time stood still as they stood like this for what seemed like minutes, but was probably less than a minute. People hustled and bustled around them, but I was mesmerised by the girls, and what transpired between them, despite neither of them saying a word. One of the girls had just walked behind the hearse carrying her father’s body, until the hearse reached the main road and took her father from her life forever. The other little girl had walked this exact same route just 4 months earlier, behind the hearse carrying the coffin with her mother in it. The two girls are in the same class at school, their families close friends in this small rural community and both girls now have a parent taken away from them by cancer.
I doubt there was another person present at the funeral more qualified to provide comfort to the newly bereaved little girl than this school friend, who knew all-too-well what it felt like and what lay ahead. What an amazing gift this girl gave to her friend, silently imparting the seeds of hope and resilience. What amazing young women these girls will become, knowing the importance of comfort and touch and empathy; such strength of character far beyond their tender years.