Remembrance Day is always important. It is always a good thing to stand and think of the people who are not here and good to think of what we have because of them. The world is full of remembered heroes and unsung heroes and people who have laid down their life for one person or hundreds of thousands of people and it is a right and humbling thing to stand for two minutes in amongst the boxes and busy-ness of a work place, or in a noisy and messy home and just, for a moment, think of what we have because of what others did. And do. Daily.
This year it was a little different for me. This year I hope that it is forgiveable that I stood and thought of many things but also of how I am now a mother who must do without her son and that it is not okay for any mother to have to be without her child. Service man, service woman. Man. Woman. Boy. Girl. Child.
This year I thought of the mothers of those heroes and the mothers of the soldiers who just did their duty for something or for nothing, whichever way they looked at itÂ in their own particular war.
This year I thought of the mothers who have held a blanket of a jacket in their suddenly empty arms and thought – Who did it? When did it happen? Where was it? Where is he? Why? How? Did it hurt? Was he frightened? Was it quick or slow?
Perhaps it is a different feeling if they die for their country and perhaps honour and glory and choice and good coming of a death do make a difference. I don’t know, that is not something I can know.
But I wonder, all those nearly 100 years ago, when the accolades were read and the poetry written, were the mothers comforted that their sons would not grow old and wrinkle and become infirm?
Personally, I think I would prefer to see them go grey. Personally, I think that most of those mothers must have felt it was no comfort at all to their aching empty arms.
There is just too much loss in the world. We can educate our children, we can make poppiesÂ with them, wear poppies, speak of the insanity of a war that stopped at 11am on 11/11 and we can stand in silence with them but it is not enough.
Today I thought with gratitude of men and women who have died for good, or for what they believed to be good – and I thought of their mothers.